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Location DB > United States > Pennsylvania > Morganza > Western Center
Western Center
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 Database Info
created by southsideshutterbug on 4/10/2006 2:47 PM
last modified by Gothic Ghoul on 12/9/2018 1:58 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.

 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Moderate
Recommendation: drop everything - must see
 Physical Information

Morganza, Pennsylvania
United States
Owner: Washington County
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • rust
  • unsafe flooring
  • copper stealers
  •  Interesting Features
    It was in Silence of the Lambs
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • locked gates
  • wooden boarding
  • Police patrol it now three times a day for copper theives (5-20-07) Active demolition crew and machinery / State Police also patrols site and uses the grounds to catch speeders. The main admin building is now boarded up tightly.(9-10-06)
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1876
    Closed: 2000
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • breathing mask
  • gloves
  •  Recommended Equipment

    Western Center is formally known as Western State School and Hospital, Pennsylvania Reform School, and The House of Refuge with facility roots reaching back to 1854. The beautiful 225-acre campus served as a serene setting in Pennsylvania's history of treatment for the mentally retarded although horrid accounts exist of experimental drug therapy, isolation, neglect, rape and dehumanizing treatment to some residents and faculty throughout the years. Western Center, located in Washington County within the Southpointe business park, stopped admitting patients in 1992 and finally closed in 2000. Most of the buildings face eminent demolition while the historic Administration Building may be salvage and restored to function as a future cultural center. The land under redevelopment, purchased for $2M, will serve as one of the first lifestyle centers in PA which will feature a complex of office, shopping, living, and recreational facilities in one centralized area.

    The expansive park-like campus host about 15 remaining buildings in various states of decay and disrepair. The seven-story dormitory building looms over the site as the dominant feature. On the opposite end of the campus, a tall green tower tops the brick Administration Building - used as a filming location for the movie "The Silence of the Lambs" in 1991 featuring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Thirty-three flat aluminum gravestones mark the graves of children in the Morganza Cemetery, each echoing the same epitaph "Rest In Peace".

    As of 2009 all that's left is the administration building (which is rumored to be remodeled and kept) and the cemetery. The rest of the campus is gone.
     Media Coverage
     Future Plans
    Lifestyle complex

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    April 2006
    Mon, Apr 10th, 2006
    posted by southsideshutterbug
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Tippa and Jills Trip April 2006.
    Mon, Apr 24th, 2006
    posted by tippa
    38 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Saying Goodbye.
    Fri, Sep 15th, 2006
    posted by tippa
    9 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    You'll be Missed
    Tue, Oct 17th, 2006
    posted by Ohhh Deasey
    9 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Eoghan's afternoon 5/4/07
    Mon, May 7th, 2007
    posted by eoghan
    19 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links


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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Steed on 12/9/2018 6:17 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Dec 9 18 at 6:17, Steed validated this location
  • on Dec 9 18 at 1:58, Gothic Ghoul changed the following: Status
  • on Jun 19 09 at 14:33, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Jun 19 09 at 3:24, Tom changed the following: History
  • on Aug 4 07 at 19:09, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on May 31 07 at 21:54, tippa changed the following: Owner, Hazards, Interesting Features, Security Measures
  • on May 7 07 at 8:32, eoghan updated gallery Eoghan's afternoon 5/4/07
  • on May 7 07 at 8:31, eoghan added some pictures to a gallery
  • on May 7 07 at 8:27, eoghan updated gallery Eoghan's afternoon 5/4/07
  • on May 7 07 at 8:25, eoghan added some pictures to a gallery
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