By Rebecca Drew
EERIE photographs show the ruins of the once bustling hospital that closed its doors almost a decade ago after being in operation for a century and which controversially refused to treat the white freedom rider, James Peck after he was brutally beaten by the KKK in the sixties.
Pictures taken at the million-square-foot medical facility show the vandalised remains of a treatment room where a bed strewn with bottles takes pride of place, a smashed window looking down a long looming corridor and a blood splattered face mask.
Other shots show the bleak exterior of the hospital buildings and a giant blue star that sits on the roof, placed there at Christmas 1958.
The images were taken at Carraway Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, USA by an urban explorer known only as Abandoned Southeast.
“I got the idea for this project from just passing by this place every day,” he said.
“This is a massive, million square-foot medical centre. At one time it was the best hospital in Birmingham. Today, it is just a sad shell of its former self.
“The hospital closed after one-hundred-years of service. The blue star on the roof is an iconic symbol in Birmingham, Alabama.
“There are currently no plans for the property.”
In 1908, Doctor Charles Carraway built a 16-bed hospital next to his home in Pratt City called Carraway Infirmary. He financed the hospital by contracting Birmingham’s industrial employers to provide healthcare to workers and their families for a monthly fee.
Nine years later, the hospital moved to its current location in Norwood and it was renamed, Norwood Hospital. By 1957, the hospital had 617 beds in total.
During most of the sixties, the hospital was segregated and came under scrutiny in 1961 after it refused to admit white freedom rider, James Peck after he had been severely beaten by the Ku Klux Klan. Peck required 53 stitches to his head and was later treated at the Jefferson Hillman Hospital. The hospital was racially integrated by 1968.
The hospital started facing financial problems in the early 2000s and closed in October 2008.
“I love to discover what is left behind inside these abandoned places,” added Abandoned Southeast.
“These photos bring back a lot of memories for the people who were patients at Carraway.
“It’s sad to see this once grand hospital in such rough shape.”
For more information see www.abandonedsoutheast.com