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5-6-2009 Added the following:
A podcast from May 6, 2009 with Greg Pirmann, Dr. Jim Conroy & Jean Searle for Web Talk Radio with Dr. Nathaniel Williams.
12-1-2008 Added the following:
April, 1984 - A wonderful short history of Pennhurst written by the Asst. Superintendent of Pennhurst. Please note - This piece was donated and the author would like to remind everybody that some of the descriptions used here he is uncomfortable with now. Some terms that were used in the past are looked at as derogatory and his intentions were not to offend.
3-16-2008 Added the following:
Feb 15, 1966 - Newspaper article from the Pocono Record detailing an incident with Dr. Jesse Fear. .JPG here.
3-16-2008 Added the following:
Documentation related to the Pennhurst case found on the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse website.
3-12-2008 Added the following:
Online petition is available. Please do all that you can to pass this along and get as many signatures as possible. The more signatures, the better the chance of preserving a piece of Pennhurst for future generations to come. The official PreservePennhurst.com website will be launching shortly.
3-5-2008 Added the following:
The following is from our friend,
Nathaniel Guest who is trying to save a piece of Pennhurst as a memorial for
history. I am excited to be involved in this project and have always wanted a
memorial of some sort, big or small, dedicated to the Pennhurst legacy. Please
stay tuned for much more regarding this:
I am writing in hopes you will lend your support to a very
important project: the preservation of Pennhurst's Jacobean
Revival 1903 Main Administration building as a memorial to
the residents and staff, the triumphs and tragedies, of a
century at Pennhurst. Your efforts to safeguard what is left
at Pennhurst--both in guarding against further vandalism and
in refraining from scavaging--are essential to this effort.
As the great volume of material availble on this and other
sites attests, this mysterious, hauntingly beautiful
structure presided over a public campus that was itself the
setting for countless private personal stories. These
stories include narratives of intense and prolonged tragedy;
but there are also largely untold stories of great
compassion and character in the face of the pervasive
bureaucratic apathy and institutional malaise. Just as we
remember the sadness, we need also acknowledge these tiny
quiet triumphs of the human spirit in the face of what all
accounts suggest could be a very dark place.
A lack of maintenance historically plagued Pennhurst, part
and parcel of an all but explicit policy of simply wanting
to forget that Pennhurst--and its residents--existed at all.
Though the halls are now silent, this policy of willful
neglect continues in effect at Pennhurst.
In the process of collecting stories about life and work at
Pennhurst, nearly everyone I have spoken to offers the same
refrain: some kind of memorial, both to the suffering and
the kindness played out at Pennhurst, ought permanently to
remain on the site and in the landscape of our cultural
memory . It should be noted that while Pennhurst may be the
most-high profile of the state mental institutions, there
were many others, mostly now closed. No memorial has been
created at or for any of them. The default state policy of
wanting to forget remains strong, pervasive, and tragic.
Though the entire Pennhurst campus, built predominantly in
1903-1906, was deemed eligible for the National Historic
Register, time, vandals, and vagrants have taken their toll.
Recently, the property was sold and there are fears—quite
justified--that what remains of the Pennhurst property will
be sacrificed to the onslaught of suburban sprawl. While no
one enjoys an uphill battle, I was compelled by the stories
I have heard to embark a project to save the old
administration building--Pennhurst's most iconic structure--
as a memorial.
Pennhurst's degradation in these past decades evidences a
continued public paralysis and governmental apathy. Now, as
Pennhurst no longer faces merely the solemnity of an
uncertain future but the true specter of its own demise, we
are called upon to act. I ask that you join me in
overcoming complacency and putting aside notions that
preservation here is impossible. It is possible and we can
do it if our efforts are concerted. The will of the
citizenry has many times directed the efforts of private
developers and it can here as well.
I am in the process of creating a website with a petition
for preservation. I am also working on a wide publicity
effort in time. What I ask, friends, is that you act as
watchdogs over Pennhurst, paricularly the administration
building. The preservation and memoral effort will be
greatly impeded by additional vandalism.
I will keep you updated as this effort gains steam. As it
is, I can tell you there seems to be support at all levels.
We need now to channel that support and direct it to action.
Nathaniel C. Guest
1-19-2008 Added the following:
Interview with BSMarcia submitted on January 18, 2008
12/30/2007 Added the following:
11/13/2007 Added the following:
10-27-07 Added the following:
Advisor Bulletin for Dec 6, 1974
Advisor Bulletin for Jan 3, 1975
Advisor Bulletin for Jan 31, 1975
April 1971 - Training News including a guided development chart designed for suggested skills for a Pennhurst
9-18-07 Added the following:
Personal Account submitted on Sept 18, 2007
9-2-07 Added the following:
Nov 5, 1969 -Minutes from a Foreman's meeting.
Jan 13, 1970 -Minutes from a Foreman's meeting.
April 1, 1980 - Memo issued regarding proper documentation at Pennhurst.
Oct 10, 1986 - A report by a visitor to Pennhurst that was filed involving damage to their vehicle by a resident.
Behavior modification meeting minutes for 02-12-1982
Behavior modification meeting minutes for 02-19-1982
The Advisor Bulletin April 29 1971
The Advisor Bulletin Nov 22, 1974
8-10-07 Added the following:
This site can now be accessed by www.pennhurst.net or www.elpeecho.com
7-14-07 Added the following:
7-3-07 Added the following:
Three more Advisor Bulletins:
4-15-07 Added the following:
Three more Advisor Bulletins:
May 5, 1971 - A memo regarding Resident Emergencies and how to handle them.
3-4-07 Added the following:
Three more Advisor Bulletins:
May 6, 1971 - Personnel Disciplinary Actions - Crime and Punishment at Pennhurs for employees.
1-29-07 Added the following:
1-1-07 - Happy New Year!
Added the following:
Three more Advisor Bulletins:
And also information on how to save alot of money using Pennsylvania's numerous Medical Assistance Programs. Please reference section off of Pennhurst info page.
10-29-06 - Added the following:
Two more Advisor Bulletins:
10-20-06 - Added the following:
Added the first two of many bulletins that were put out bi-weekly called The Advisor about Pennhust affairs:
09-09-06 - Added the following:
Converted some of the .zip files containing .jpgs to .PDF format to make viewing easier. Will work on converting the Behavior Modification reports to .PDF files shortly.
05-29-06 - Added the following:
Nov 27, 1979 - Another paranoid letter from the Assistant Superintendent to editor of a newsletter.
Dec 10, 1979 - Editors response to Assistant Superintendent's letter dated Nov 27, 1979.
Jan 24, 1980 - Various comments made by the Assistant Superintendent regarding a consultation report.
Jan 25, 1980 - Assistant Superintendent's complaints about an article in a Mentally Retarded Newsletter. It is apparently a reprint of an article that had already been published. You can read the original complaint here.
04-23-06 - Added the following:
Feb 11, 1980 - Comments on OMR Proposed Order - Special Assistant's comments on a proposed change in the system used to educate and house people with mental health issues.
03-19-06 - Added the following:
Incomplete report regarding a resident getting hit with a stick. These are some pages from the internal investigation into the incident.(.zip download)
Also, on a side note, although it is not related to Pennhurst you may find this interesting. I started a project that will document every street photographically in Spring City. I am taking pictures of each street and converting them into a panoramic movie. Please check it out here.
01-27-06 - Added the following:
* Needs Quicktime to view. When movie picture launches, use your mouse to "move" around the picture to see different angles.
01-03-06 - I've been having a hard time finding the time to scan these. I'll try to update this section more often.Added the following:
09-24-05 - Added the following:
Jan 8, 1985 - Client Bill of Rights and information given to employees about the proper procedures in dealing with residents.
07-09-05 - Added the following:
July 16, 1986 - Abuse Investigation of a Pennhurst Client. Including interviews with client and caregivers. Reports of missing teeth, bruises, blood and contusions that nobody can seem to explain.
05-21-05 - Added the following:
1980s - Newspaper Photographs - Photographs of Pennhurst used in various local newspapers in the 1980s.
Behavior Modification Reports - Meeting minutes for 12-11-1981
04-22-05 - Added the following:
1968 - Progress and Careers at Pennhurst - A booklet detailing current state of Pennhurst in 1968 for potential employees.
04-03-05 - Added the following:
1940s - Pennhurst Information Booklet - A booklet designed to give the family of a retarded child an idea of how the Pennhurst School is run.
03-20-05 - Added the following:
1908 - 1926 - History of Pennhurst by Robert Smilovitz - A report submitted by Robert Smilovitz, Former Assistant Superintendent of Pennhurst.
03-13-05 - Added the following:
Layout of Whitman Building's Labatory - Thanks To LabTechKid for these contributions!
02-12-05 - Added the following:
1954 - Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Pennhurst State School - An informational booklet given to parents by Pennhurst when shopping around for schools to send their child.
01-30-05 - Added the following:
May 21, 1968 - Case Study of a Resident #1- A case study that gives a broad range of insights into the life of a 14 years old Pennhurst resident.
01-08-05 - Added the following:
A well done newsletter by W.C. Brunner of the Spring Ford Area Historical Society. Thank you very much to Mr. Brunner as well as Jim Burns for providing this.
12-13-04 - Added the following:
Newspaper clipping from Pottstown Mercury regarding the documentary of Pennhurst.
09-25-04 - Added the following:
1977 - Photographic Evidence used in the courtroom during the Pennhurst case.
A scan of a Pennhurst Dollar.
09-06-04 - Added the following:
Oct 15, 1980 - A report by the Assistant Superintendent detailing the appropriate use of restraints.
Nov 18, 1980 - Reporting the use of a helmet for a severely retarded resident who is susceptible to seizures. (.zip download)
Dec 22, 1980 - Arbitration request for a particularly difficult resident. (.zip download)
Jan 28, 1982 - Complaints about the slacking off of filling out restraint requests when it is required. (.zip download)
July 2, 1986 - Suspension for 3 days of a nurse due to client abuse.
If you have some documentation pertaining to Pennhurst that you would like to share on this website, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . Again, anonymity guaranteed.
08-24-04 - Added the following:
Pennhurst interview with a former nurse at Pennhurst.
07-31-04 - Added the following:
Oct 8, 1974 - Case Study of a Resident - A case study that gives a broad range of insights into the life of a Pennhurst resident.
07-24-04 - Added the following:
May 5, 1980 - Issue with Lou Chapman seeing something she wasn't supposed to see during her visit to Pennhurst (.zip download).
June 5, 1980 - Issue with Humphrey Unit not keeping accurate documentation of progress/restraint use.
June 19, 1980 - A work order request to place a hand railing along one of the tunnel passageways.
July 17, 1980 - Follow-up to a report by a Dr. Clements listing category of drugs given to a group of residents.
07-04-04 - Added the following:
Pictures of the Pennhurst Memorial Cemetary. Thank to Boostay for directions to the cemetary. You truly show the spirit of what Urban Exploration is! Check out Boostay's website at http://www.geocities.com/paexplorations/index.html
06-27-04 - Added the following:
Nov 8, 1979 - Annual Assessment of a Resident - (.zip download) An in-depth yearly assessment report of a resident.
06-26-04 - Added the following:
1983 - The Five Year Longitudinal Study of the Court-Ordered Deinstitutionalization of Pennhurst - A study prepared by Temple University studying the effects of the residents of Pennhurst after the School was shut down. Document is set up in FAQ format. NOTE: Please be patient! Will take a while to load due to size!
1924 - 1926 - Report of Pennhurst State School - A report that appears to be prepared for Government review listing all financial and general operations of Pennhurst in the early 1900's. NOTE: Please be patient! Will take a while to load due to size!
Internal Abuse Reports : 03-14-1979 , 01-11-1980 , 09-29-1980 , 10-22-1980 , 02-11-1981 , 04-02-1981 , 07-07-1981 , 09-14-1981 , 11-13-1981 , 12-08-1981 , 01-18-1982 , 01-28-1982 , 02-10-1982 , 07-14-1986.
6-01-04 - Added the following:
Added the Pennhurst Short Documentary:
Pennhurst Short Documentary - Windows Media Player
Pennhurst Short Documentary - RealPlayer
5-09-04 - Added the following:
Added a Panoramic of the Admin Building.
5-01-04 - Added the following:
4-17-04 - Added the following:
Feb, 1979 - Pennhurst's Modified Abuse Policy - Modifications to Pennhurst's abuse policy updated less than a year into the Pennhurst court case.
Jul 16, 1979 - Viewpoints of Court Case - Assistant Superintendant's viewpoints of the then on-going Pennhurst Courtcase.
March 19, 1980 - Transfer Request (.zip download) - Mr. Ferleger's attempt at getting resident files to help with a transfer.
4-03-04 - Added the following:
The Complete Geographical Guide to Pennhurst - This is a complete geographical layout of Pennhurst as it was in September of 1978. Includes a map with each building broken down by residents and what it was used for.
Racial Slur Incident - An example of mental abuse exhibited by a nurse towards a female black resident.
Fuzzy - Pirmann's request to a folk singer for permission to use song lyrics to a song called "Fuzzy" by Claudia Scmidt for a newsletter he was in charge of. As the scan is in handwritten form which is hard to read, here are the lyrics.
Quaker Hall Incident - Sleeping on the job.
The Beginning of the End of Pennhurst - Court ruling document from the orginal court case against Pennhurst along with stipulations mandated by the court.
3-31-04 - Added a map of Pennhurst and a mailing list to inform you of updates which can be found above.
3-27-04 - Added the following:
A new message board with easier functions to add/search postings
New Pennhurst pictures - Set Three
2-15-04 - Added pictures of the attic cells in Pennhurst.
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