A Mystery in Metro Atlanta – Georgia Mental Health Institute
The Georgia Mental Health Institute (GMHI) was a 141-bed psychiatric hospital which operated from 1965-1997 near Emory University on the grounds of the Briarcliff Estate, the former residence of Asa Candler, Jr the son of the founder of Coca-Cola. In honor of it’s opening 50 years ago I decided to bring it’s beauty to light.
This facility was home to adults, children and the criminally insane. The main building (“Building A”) is connected to the inpatient residences (“Cottages”) via underground tunnels. Eight cottages housed patients in it’s prime, and the tunnels today are still functional although kept under heavy surveillance as well as lock and key. The majority of the cottages are not structurally sound today. Also, portions of the tunnels no longer have electricity so are completely dark.
This is not your typical run down creepy mental institution – this place is frozen in time. The auditoriums look like they haven’t been used or even entered in years (hence the cobwebs covering the seat cushions). The control room is straight out of the 1960s with the master clock and antiquated radio. The incinerator room is covered in ash and looks as if someone set their gloves and ladder down yesterday although hasn’t been used in years. The boiler room is a fantastic museum of sorts, as some of the original equipment is unable to be removed and is kept silent, holding court among it’s replacements.
There is a television studio on the premises that was used for public service announcements and such during it’s time of operation. Jane Fonda opened a center dedicated to the Reproductive Health of Adolescents and this was housed in GMHI until moving to its current location. Now a common venue for shooting films and television commercials, the property stands vacant. The state sold this property in its entirety to Emory University in 1988 and GMHI became used primarily for office space. Emory housed various research projects in Building A in the years following it’s closure, however today looms as an eerie reminder of the past.
This place is full of ghosts and memories.
My deepest gratitude to Andrew for this opportunity.
For full gallery please visit: http://www.amysimonephotography.com/p635076362#hcb14f1