Rosewood Sanitarium Outdoor Photos
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Rosewood Sanitarium Outdoor Photos

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Abandoned Sanitarium Rosewood

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Early morning was the best time to go to Rosewood because you could park in a nearby apartment complex and walk across a field unnoticed when entering. Long in decay, Rosewood's many buildings were abandoned since the seventies or before.

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You could spend weeks or months exploring the buildings sprawling the many acres of the facility. These photos, shot in the winter of 2009, might be the last taken before the facility closed in the coming summer. Rosewood's closing, though unsettling for patients, needed to occur since most of the crumbling buildings contained asbestos.

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My understanding of this place is limited as its history is muddled, and worse yet, mired even today in legal issues. I think Rosewood is one of those places the state of Maryland would like to forget existed due to abuse and other problems.

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Behind the building ahead, a functioning facility still operated, which we stay away from to avoid guards and violating patient privacy.

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This is that functioning facility, and I am unaware of any other buildings that still operated. There were guards, but we only encountered security once when visiting. Security was lax, and we often explored in the daylight without issue.

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Many buildings were boarded and chained. You could enter many structures through windows or doors opened by other curious individuals, but many were too dangerous to explore.

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Most buildings contained piles of equipment, filing cabinets, and old furniture. The roofs or walls in some collapsed over time as nature reclaimed the buildings, such as in this photo.

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Sadly, some of these photos blurred because we used phone cameras. Fear of needing to run from security kept us traveling light. Had I know security would be so lax, I would have brought better equipment.

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I started to climb this building's stairwells, but my friend dissuaded me because of the need to stand on a warped, rotted roof.

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This building appeared to be an administrative building abandoned for a very long time. In many of these buildings, old patient records still filled file cabinets and desks.

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Though dead in winter, you can still see the ivy overgrowing the building's face.

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Rosewood was an amazing, eerie place from a time when institutionalization was necessary treatment for the mentally ill. Psychotropic medications such as Lithium and Haldol would help bring about the end of these facilities and begin deinstitutionalization: a reform that would place many patients back into the community. Like many reforms, there were good and bad results, with some patients rejoining society while many others suffered homelessness for being incapable of taking care of themselves.

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This final photo of Rosewood shows the demolition of a burned-out building in 2009. The facility would sit for years tied up in real estate legalities and other bureaucracy, but at last report, Stevenson University bought the facility and planned to turn it into athletic fields. RIP Rosewood.

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