Day 2, Entry #5 with Holly Kennedy discussing the Bryce Hospital controversy and the University of Alabama.
I definitely think some of it should be preserved as architectural history, but also as a reminder about how far mental healthcare has come. Bryce was quite literally a “funny farm” until Wyatt v. Stickney, and I don’t feel that’s the sort of thing that we should forget. I’m concerned for the patients there; some people do truly need specialized long-term psychiatric care, and I’m worried that community care won’t do. Average length of stay at Bryce has been on the decline a long time, so hopefully the transition will be easier.
If we can make sure the people who need the care can still get it, I’m excited by the possibility of an arts space with so much architectural and social history. A lot of those buildings are in rough shape, and I hope that we’re willing to spend the money to restore at least some of the property.