Hastings Regional Center

 

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Disclaimer: If you try to visit this site, there are still patients in some of these buildings, not all are abandoned! Only some of them are abandoned, and they do have frequent vandals and will call the police! I highly suggest if you are interested in taking pictures to call, email, and ask permission. There are patients in this facility who deserve respect, privacy, and decency.

I visited this facility in early November, 2015. I drove onto the property, my window rolled down, enjoying the brisk unusually warm autumn air. Two of the buildings had full parking lots, so I parked, and climbed the steps up to the massive building. The door opened to tiny waiting area, where a woman sat behind a glass window. She smiled warmly as she pressed the button to speak, asking for the first and last name of the patient I was there to see. I explained why I had come, and asked who I should speak to for permission to take photographs of the abandoned buildings on the property.

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Her smiled receded, she asked me to have a seat while she called one of her colleagues. After a hushed conversation, she instructed me to walk across the parking lot to one of the other buildings, and gave me a name. The next woman I spoke to shook my hand, and gave me permission to photograph everything on the grounds with the exception of two or three buildings. She gave me directions to find the cemetery and showed me the grave markers, which are flat brick-like stones with only numbers (one pictured below). I was given a timeframe to roam the grounds alone and photograph whatever I wanted on the outside of the buildings and the cemetery. I drove down a the dirt road to the cemetery, and parked next to the hedges. The sunlight filtered through tangled branches, shining in creamy patches over the numbered stones. I stood over the vast field, scanning the endless rows of flat stones, chipped and faded over time. There were so many people, patients, loved ones buried with only a number to mark their identity. At the head of the cemetery stood a large grave marker reading: for all that was, for all that might have been, grant us rest and peace. Surrounded by colorful rocks, and a bench for loved ones to have a place to sit. I said a prayer for all of the lost, all of the displaced, and all of the wronged souls.

Hastings Reg Cem4

Hastings Regional Cemetery-Numbered Gravestone-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

The photo above of the window is one of my “happy accidents” I discovered as I started editing. I almost cut my shadow from the bottom corner, but with the rich shadows of the black and white I thought it added so much more depth and emotion to the photo -almost like one of the patients from the past coming back to check in. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Hastings Regional Center -Eklund

Hastings Regional Center -Eklund

There are tunnels beneath the buildings, which most hospitals have, but I was not given access to them. The grounds for this facility is quite large, so I barely had enough time to photograph everything. At some point, I will ask permission to go back and see if I can take more detailed photos, including the tunnels and the interiors of the buildings. Of course I will have to plan ahead this time. 🙂

Hastings Reg Center 1-2016-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Stories floating around on the internet about this place are mostly negative, as they tend to be about most mental health facilities built around the same time-frame. The people I spoke to when I visited were friendly and cooperative. When I visited the facility in Norfolk, I became physically ill, and experienced overwhelming emptiness and sadness. The only two areas I really felt anything similar at the Hastings facility was at the cemetery and near the prison. I left with the impression the people who run the facility now do an excellent job of taking care of the patients.

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

 

Hastings Regional Center -Eklund

Hastings Regional Center -Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

 

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-EklundCemetary-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

DSC01266

When the facility first opened, it received inmates from the hospitals in Lincoln and Norfolk who were thought to be incurable, and the name of the Hastings hospital was “Hospital for the Incurably Insane,” (which I read to have also have been the name of the Norfolk facility). The name was changed to “Asylum for the Chronic Insane” in 1895, 1905 to to “Nebraska State Hospital,” in 1915 to “Ingleside Hospital for the Insane” , then to “Hastings State Hospital” and finally in 1971 to its standing name of, “Hastings Regional Center.”

Hastings Reg Center 1-3-26

DSC01236

Hastings Regional Cemetery-Eklund

Hastings Reg Center 2-2016 Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetary-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetery-Eklund

 

Hastings Regional Center Cemetary-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetary-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetary-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetery-Eklund

 

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetary-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetery-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

“Maybe it’s true what Thomas Moore said: “It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed.” -Susannah Cahalan, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Reg Cem3

Hastings Regional Cemetery-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

The building below is still surrounded by razor wire from being used as a prison, although it now sits abandoned. I could have fit through the opening in the gate, but settled for my photographs on the outside. I prefer staying out of jail. 🙂

DSC01321

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

The photograph above is one of my favorite shots and the building itself was the most captivating. I would start walking away, and something would draw me back. One more shot of the window over there. Another picture of the porch from a different angle. Even after I drove away from it I went back for another series.

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Instructed to make beds, sweep floors, clean furniture and launder own clothes, patients took care of most of the janitorial work. The people on staff were: an engineer and his assistant, a steward, a bookkeeper, a farmer, a gardener, four supervisors (two male and two female), and no other doctors other than the superintendent. The patients were primarily cared for by the ward attendants, who lived on the wards, only off half day per week. The patients also did most of the farming and dairy work. The farm was available for the hospital to feed itself.

In the 1920s-1930s, a tuberculosis ward was at the hospital, although I am not sure which building. In the early 1920s, electro-shock treatment began. Fever therapy, hydro-therapy, and insulin-shock therapy were also used in the ’20s and ’30s. Prior to the 1920s, when the first dentist was hired, the patients/inmates dental problems were gone untreated.

In the 1950s psychiatric drugs were discovered and introduced into treatment of mental health, including tranquilizers. They began a program of rehabilitation with psycho-therapy, occupational therapy, industrial therapy, vocational therapy, reality therapy, religious therapy, and behavior modification.

The Hastings State Hospital was turned into two Unit Hospitals, psychiatric and alcoholic, in July, 1963. I’m not sure which two buildings. In 1987 the south end of the campus was turned into a minimum security prison, and now sits empty.

Hastings Regional Center Cemetery-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetery-Eklund

 

 

Hastings Regional Center Cemetary-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center Cemetery-Eklund

 

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center-Eklund

DSC01329

Former Prison Building-Eklund

DSC01314

Former Prison Building-Eklund

DSC01235

Hastings Regional Cemetery-Eklund

Hastings Reg Cem2

Hastings Regional Center Cemetery-Eklund

Hastings Regional Center -Eklund

Hastings Regional Center -Eklund

Trish Eklund is the owner and creator of Abandoned, Forgotten & Decayed. She is also the owner and founder of Family Fusion Community, an online resource for blended families of all types. Trish’s photography has been featured on Only in Your State and Pocket Abandoned. Follow on Instagram: @trisheklund and Facebook: Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed. Trish is also featured on Huffington Post Divorce. Trish is a regular feature writer on Her View From Home. Trish Eklund has an essay, Happy Endings, in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz. The first book telling the story of blended family life from the perspective of the stepkids.

Trish 12-15

One thought on “Hastings Regional Center

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s