First, a bit of background: I moved to a new apartment recently with two friends. It’s in a beautiful brick building with massive windows and a huge courtyard. The apartments are all open to the outside, so there are no hallways or common spaces to smell of cat urine and marijuana. It was gutted and remodeled in 2005, and our place has skylights and 12 foot ceilings. So freakin sold, right?!
Built in 1903, the building certainly has the aura of an earlier time. It feels of that “beauty because we can” built-to-last quality of the Victorian Era that I so absolutely adore. Between the large courtyard and a couple outlying buildings I guessed that it was a factory of some sort. I guessed wrong.
It was a hospital. As I search through old newspaper articles from the beginning of the 20th century, it becomes apparent that it had quite a history too. A woman who was renowned for her dedicated work in the juvenile correctional facility nearby became very ill from “exhaustion” and died here in 1907.
The kicker, though, came in 1913. A new building (my building!) was added directly to the west of the original building. It was home to a special ward dedicated to the treatment of patients who had fallen victim to, of all things, tuberculosis. Upon reading this, I was thrilled.
Just kidding. Considering how deadly the “white plague” was, there’s a good chance that someone met an ill fate in the exact spot where I sleep. Crap. Although I considered this a bit further and decided I didn’t mind so much, for two reasons: 1) I don’t believe in that ghost crap, and 2) Even if that stuff exists, who says that “ghosts and spirits” are always pissed and mean? If there is one here, I plan on making friends with it. Perhaps I’ll ask it to do dishes.
Either way, I’ll keep an eye out for anything unusual or interesting. Needless to say, if I see anything, you all will hear about it.
But now it’s time for me to call my landlord and have him replace my thermostat. The switch marked “heat” refuses to stay on, and at times it gets quite cold.