About This Location
Cedarcrest Regional Hospital in Newington, Connecticut, holds a unique place in the records of American medical history and in the imagination of those fascinated by abandoned places. This former state hospital, which closed its doors in 2010, represents a poignant chapter in the struggle against tuberculosis and mental health issues.
Originally established in 1910, the hospital was a response to the tuberculosis epidemic, then a leading cause of death in the United States. Known initially as the Hartford County Home for the Care and Treatment of Persons Suffering from Tuberculosis, its primary purpose was to provide care for those afflicted with this devastating illness, colloquially known as "The White Plague". By 1912, recognizing the need for a more succinct name, it was renamed the Hartford State Sanatorium.
The hospital's evolution over the years mirrored the changing medical landscape. In the early 20th century, tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis as identified by Robert Koch, had no effective cure. This led to the establishment of sanatoriums as places of isolation and treatment, especially for those who couldn't afford to travel to warmer climates for health benefits. Cedarcrest, during its years as a sanatorium, witnessed considerable sadness and despair, with many of its patients being children.
In the latter half of the 20th century, as tuberculosis became more controlled, Cedarcrest's role shifted. In 1976, it was transformed into a psychiatric facility under the Connecticut Department of Mental Health, serving those with mental disorders and addictions. This repurposing reflected a broader trend in Connecticut and elsewhere, where former tuberculosis hospitals were converted to mental health facilities.
Despite its noble intentions, Cedarcrest Hospital, like many such institutions, was eventually closed due to budget constraints and changes in health care policy. The closure in 2010 marked the end of a century-long saga of medical care and human struggle. The patients were transferred to other facilities, and the property, now owned by the town of Newington, remains largely abandoned.
Today, Cedarcrest Hospital stands as a relic of a bygone era. The abandoned buildings, some of which are used by state agencies and (reportedly) the FBI, carry an air of mystery and melancholy. Stories and rumors of hauntings, typical of abandoned asylums, have added to its eerie allure. Reports of unexplained noises, sightings of orbs, and a general creepy atmosphere contribute to its reputation as a place of intrigue for the curious and the brave.
It's important to note that the property is now fenced off, with "No Trespassing" signs and police patrols, emphasizing that it should be viewed from a safe distance. This serves as a reminder of the respect and caution necessary when approaching such sites, which, while fascinating, are also part of our collective history and deserve to be treated with dignity.
Cedarcrest Regional Hospital's story is a testament to the evolving understanding of and approach to both physical and mental health over the past century. Its abandoned state today serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced in the treatment of tuberculosis and mental health issues, as well as the ongoing need for compassion and innovation in healthcare.