Inside the Abandoned Pennhurst State School and Hospital with Zhenya Grinshteyn
(Photos by Zhenya Grinshteyn)
The Pennhurst State School and Hospital complex, originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, sits isolated on 1,400 acres on the border between Chester and Montgomery Counties. The grounds once had all of the necessary means to sustain life, including a power plant, farm, 300 bed hospital, movie theater, general store, barber shop, and even its own cemetery. Operating from 1908 to the end of 1987, Pennhurst has been dubbed “the shame of the nation” for its treatment of mentally ill children. Within just the first three years of operation, the grounds were swollen with 3x the maximum amount of patients it was built to hold, lacking funds, and left to fend for itself by the government. The people that came to get treatment here stepped in to an unreal, totally isolated world where they would spend all their lives, and stay even in to death. –Zhenya Grinshteyn
Special shout out to OBP Photography for organizing Zhenya’s trip.