The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia was a unique location we decided to try and capture both the many acoustics of this historic space as well as the possibility of unexplained audio. Trans-Allegheny is the oldest stone mason building in the country. Its 500,000 square foot structure is a daunting reminder of a time long forgotten.
The Kirkbride Plan
The doors first opened in 1864, it was part of the Kirkbride plan. An asylum that gave its residents more privacy and sunlight, Trans-Allegheny was originally intended to house 250 patients. At its peak it held 2600. In 1994, it closed its doors for good and lay vacant for years. In 2007, it was purchased by a contractor looking to restore it as one of Americas most interesting structures.
In our day at the asylum, we were able to capture the sounds of roughly 40 different rooms. The older parts of the building like the Civil War wing, were especially large sounding. We worked our way up, each floor capturing different hallways, isolation rooms, bathrooms,etc. As acousticians, it was a fascinating day. Hearing all of the different sounds available in one location was truly amazing. Rarely do you get to experience the sonic structure of a building this unique.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Reverb Video Demo
13 of the 40 Archived Rooms
(Recorded using Murkuri Microphones)