House at Norristown State Hospital

I’ve done some pictures from the Norristown Farm Park ( these drawings of Getty Cottage might ring a bell) and you may remember that the park was once the farm for the adjacent Norristown State Hospital. Patients left the hospital grounds to work on the farm in various occupations up until the 1970’s – it was thought beneficial for mental patients to have work of this sort, if they were able.

Often we walk on both properties when we go to the Farm Park – it’s easy to cross into the campus, which, though mostly closed, still has interesting buildings of all eras to view. This house is one of them. I took the photo and made the following drawing in August, 2020.

Pen, in my 8″ x 8″ sketchbook.

6 thoughts on “House at Norristown State Hospital

  1. Claudia McGill Post author

    There are so many buildings at Norristown State I would like to draw. And many of them are like this – a bit worn and a bit tired or maybe even uncertain, and I like that. There is something about that location that has a pull to it for me – maybe it is the layers and layers of human stories that I feel built up in a concentrated site. (I am starting to sound a little airy here, maybe, but there is an emotion to the buildings here I don’t feel in many places).

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I like drawing buildings and houses, and they always have trees near them, or bushes. I have been trying to find ways to depict them that seem to evoke the tree but are not literal – I have fallen into trying different patterns. I like how this one worked, too, thank you!

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I believe this house predates the hospital and relates to one of the farms that made up the property before the hospital and associated farm were created, so it would be from about the 1870’s. But I don’t know. Thinking about this made it even more fun to draw.

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