What Is Henryton?
Smack-dab in the middle of the Patapsco River Valley sits a decaying, dilapidated congregation of buildings. While you have to know where you’re going to find these buildings, it is not far fetched to think that many-a-hiker have happened upon this site: a great white building (the main hospital) rising out of the gorgeous woods of the valley. The dominance of this structure is quite apparent as you approach the grounds—they are all brick buildings but the Hospital itself is covered in white stucco. Over the years, more and more of this plaster finish has fallen off, been sledgehammered off, and vines over grow chunks of it. Exploring the area around the perimeter of the building, one can discover pieces that have been pulled off by the weight of the intruding vines. Like most abandoned structures, nature is reclaiming her ground.
The Henryton Center (also, “Henryton State Hospital,” “Henryton Hospital Center,” “Henryton Sanitarium,” “Henryton Asylum,” or simply “Henryton”) is a popular urban-exploration site but it is not the mark of the true urban explorers that we see. The facades of most of the buildings are marred with heinous graffiti; windows are smashed and toilets have been thrown out of windows. Most of the furniture that remains is forcefully broken. Almost every surface is touched by a vandal.
Henryton, however, is rich with history but to find it, like the property itself, one must know where to look. The Henryton Center was used from 1923-1962 as a treatment center—a sanitarium—for Maryland’s African-American tuberculosis patients. With the development of treatments and vaccines, however, TB sanitariums become less and less necessary. On February 3, 1962, Governor Tawes recommended (and the Legislature approved) that the Hospital be converted to a treatment facility to the mentally handicapped. The first patients of Henryton came from the overpopulated sister-facilty, Rosewood. In July of 1973, Henryton State Hospital was renamed Henyton Hospital Center. Rumors among locals hint at the corruption and evil that lurked behind these walls for the 23 years that it remained open and active. However, contemporary Rosewood clippings seem to give the impression that <i>it</i> was the one dabbling in corruption and Henryton was actually the commendable, non-corrupt (if you will) care facility.
Save Henryton’s aim is to once again provide a nourishing environment for those who need it—as a community center, organic farm, co-op housing, studio space, and much, much more. With that, we leave you with the remaining content of this site to peruse at your will. You will learn of our action plan, our vision, the importance of saving buildings such as these, and most importantly: how you can help.