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From the inside: McPherson Hospital

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Last week I attended a talk at the Center for Documentary Studies by writer Rachel Andrews and photographer Dara McGrath, who documented the demolition of Ireland's Maze Prison complex.

During the presentation, McGrath noted that he didn't like photographing people, yet he noted his photos of abandoned spaces are full of people, in that they show the remnants of human interaction.

LISA SORG
  • Lisa Sorg

I thought about how this applies to the old McPherson Hospital, also the N.C. Eye and Ear Hospital, at Buchanan Avenue and Main Street in Durham. I went inside to see what was left of it before it's transformed into the entrance of the new Residence Inn that is being built on the site.

I shot some photos and made this audio slideshow (eerie music by Bela Bartok).

Thousands of people passed through these doors from 1926, when the hospital was built, until 2008, when part of its addition was demolished. Since then, the original portion of the building has disintegrated through neglect, partially shrouded by a green fence covering.

So even though the building is just a shell, I'd like to think there lingers the traces of the patients who went there.

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