FROM HARM TO HOPE: REIMAGINING AN ABANDONED ASYLUM AS A SPACE OF REFLECTION, REJUVENATION, AND REJOICE
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The Crownsville State Hospital opened in 1913 as the first and only mental institution in the state of Maryland to serve the Black community. After 91 years of operation rife with neglect, abuse, exploitation, and other acts of inhumanity, the hospital closed and has laid virtually abandoned since. In this thesis, I will propose ways of reactivating Crownsville’s historic campus through acknowledging the property’s horrific past, by providing support and amenities to the region’s most vulnerable individuals, and by creating space to celebrate the identity of communities who were historically persecuted on the grounds. I will explore the Crownsville campus through the lens of a cultural landscape, and attempt to balance the preservation of existing assets with the development of new community features.