Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kuhn Memorial Charity Hospital before the Fence

The City of Vicksburg finally gained legal title to the Kuhn Memorial Charity Hospital and the land in late 2016. The legal battles and title searches took several years, and I can't begin to understand the details. On November 29, 2016, I was taking some photographs on Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., and a fence company was erecting a chain link fence to secure the property. Therefore, the following photographs may be my last of the condemned site
Severe and formal facade of Kuhn Hospital. The grass field had just been cut.
Entry main door with vandalized furniture.
West side of the hospital complex with the connector passage between the two main buildings.
Former ambulance entrance on the west side.
The interior is such a mess, I did not want to venture inside. I photographed some of the first floor rooms in early 2014 and the upper floors in 2014.

The October 20, 2016 Vicksburg Post summarized the history of the building:
A former city hospital, the city sold Kuhn to the State of Mississippi in 1956 for $5, and the state operated the facility as a charity hospital, initially known as the Vicksburg Charity Hospital, until 1989. 
The city regained the property in 1990 under an agreement with the state to turn it over to a private corporation.
In 1993, the building was considered as a possible veterans home, and in 1994, it was considered for a possible 38-bed adolescent psychiatric ward. 
In 1999, the building was sold to the Lassiter-Studdard Group Inc., which planned to open a 100-bed clinic and assisted living center. The plans fell through, and in 2000 the company donated the building to the Esther Stewart Buford Foundation. 
The property has been sold six times for taxes, and city officials have been trying for at least the past 10 years to get the property owner to clean the property and demolish or renovate the buildings on the site. 
The board on July 6 put the 12.8-acre property under the city’s slum clearance ordinance in a move to step up its efforts to remove the complex’s main building. The city’s efforts to do something with the property accelerated in the aftermath of the abduction and murder of Sharen Wilson, whose body was found on the property June 28. Police said Wilson was killed in the back building and her body left on the property, where ghost hunters who were on the site found it. When the parties with an interest in the property failed to present plans to either raze or renovate the two buildings on the site in September, it cleared the way to begin the process for their demolition.
Photographs taken with a Fuji GW690II 6×9 camera on Tri-X 400 film and scanned with a Minolta ScanMulti medium format scanner. Click any photograph to enlarge it to 2400 pixels wide.

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