For nearly a decade, the Fort Howard Veterans Affairs Medical Center property has been used and abused by various people from near and far. Young people party there. Many kids and adults explore the spooky old buildings - some wanting to experience proof of the place being haunted. Thieves steal copper and other metals for selling to recyclers. Worst of all, destructive vandalism - by oodles of ignorant jackasses - is a consistent evil force wreaking havoc all through the place.
The VA has permitted: police swat team members to practice hostage rescue there, and I've heard stories of the cops blasting doors open; I have also heard that fire department personnel in training cut a huge hole in a beautiful antique hardwood floor; movie and television crews use the hospital building for film sets. But I've heard that the VA is not paid for any of those VA approved uses. I understand the good in allowing the police and fire departments to use - but they shouldn't abuse - the property for free. The wealthy movie and TV production companies, though, should pay rental fees - monies that can help the VA afford better care for American military veterans.
The property has been woefully neglected by the VA. Ever since the VA hospital there was closed in 2002, the VA hasn't done much maintenance work on the property. And although there is still a small medical clinic serving vets at Ft. Howard, many people believe the place to be abandoned property. That clinic has recently lost copper wiring to thieves, which cut off the clinic's phone and Internet access, even though that doctors' office is clearly in daily use by the VA.
I have created a set of "Ft. Howard VA Damaged and Rotting" photographs that clearly reveal how terrible it is there today. Plus, the photos show what great, historically significant and important buildings there are on the Ft. Howard VA property. Those superbly constructed, large, old wooden homes, seen in amongst my photographs, were built a century ago - by true craftsmen.
I have added a few of the photos to this blog post. Unfortunately, I can't add more, because, my current Internet connection doesn't upload files very well. But, if you go to my Flickr pages, you can view the full photo set of "Ft. Howard VA Damaged and Rotting".