The Seaside. It’s not just a place for Sally to sell seashells (I know it’s seashore. I just like this sentence.), or a breezy Kooks song. It’s also the name of an abandoned tuberculosis sanitorium in Waterford, Connecticut. With a chain link fence encircling the Seaside’s perimeter, getting a good look with my boyfriend was slightly tricky. Although Cass Gilbert’s exterior was fully visible– the architect behind the Woolworth Building and the Supreme Court, there was absolutely no way in heck that we were getting inside.
First, due to the fence. And second, because the building is completely falling apart. Broken windows expose decrepit staircases and graffiti covered walls. It definitely gave me a case of the heebie jeebies! Even in the daytime. Luckily, Connecticut politicians and concerned citizens are advocating for a revamp of the area. They hope to convert the Seaside into a fully functioning, self-sustaining State Park.
It’s wild to imagine the history of this property, and research has proven super enlightening. I now know that the sanitorium went through three major phases through the years. It began as a tuberculosis treatment facility for children, and was fully equipped with classrooms and a playground. (I always think it’s so interesting that ‘fresh air’ was the tuberculosis treatment of choice…)
Then, in 1958, it became a home for the elderly, and ultimately transitioned into a home for the developmentally disabled. After claims of abuse, and an excess of suspicious deaths, the Seaside was closed. It has remained abandoned and untouched for 20 years! This Tudor Revival may look residential, but there are definitely fathoms to it’s classic design.
I highly suggest taking a tour of sites like the Seaside. The Seaside’s entire concept is antiquated, and I think it’s great to get a glimpse into a strange facet of American history.
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