Welcome to the J.N. Adam’s Memorial Tuberculosis Ward, a hidden gem tucked deep within the backwoods of Western New York. This massive location was commissioned by Buffalo mayor J.N. Adam to be built in 1909, to house and treat carriers of “The White Plague” known as tuberculosis.Most Western New York residents have not even set eyes on this massive structure, being surrounded by 500 acres of forest on each side.
This complex, is one of several buildings in WNY designed by architect John H. Coxhead, his most popular or well-known being the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church.
The sanatorium was modeled after southern plantations, complete with ornate columns, and open balconies every which way you turn your head. These balconies were used in the treatment of patients, letting them rest in the open air with high altitudes, which were recommendations for treatment of the disease.
The space ran as a tuberculosis ward from 1909 until the 1960s when it was then turned to the state of New York, who would continue to use it as a developmental disability center. By 1995, the end to treatment of such disabilities in an institutionalized setting had come to an end, and since then it has sat vacant.
Now sitting as an empty gem, full of nothing but stale air and asbestos, the ward welcomes nature, as large overgrowth overtakes the face of each structure. It is only a matter of time before nature swallows these ruins in.
We were lucky enough to be taken away by a beautifully radiant sunset, glowing through the empty streets of the property. It was like walking through streets of an entire abandoned town. People had lived out their lives here, and with enough space to do so. One of my favorite rooms would have to be the main dining hall. Resembling a chapel, this dome-ceiling room, complete with ornately designed stained-glass window atop its roof, was the main section for patients to join together in meals. Come to think of it, it may have been used by doctors, but good luck on finding one to ask currently.
Easily one of my favorite places that I have explored, and I would love to make it back some day. Upon our leaving however, we were stopped by a local officer who had questioned us about being inside. Due to dangers of asbestos, they try to keep people clear of wandering its halls.
A place like this, I could never leave untouched, unexplored, or unknown to my eyes. Standing within the beautiful destruction of such a massive complex makes me wonder more than anything else what went on through its life.
If you would like to help in support of further exploration, as well as represent your home state, come by and grab a shirt or sticker here:
It would be a huge help and much appreciated. I will also offer a FREE e-book for each order placed. Simply show me your order number through a message to this page, and what you purchased. I will then send you a completely free e-book of my book “Empty Spaces.” I hope to continue bringing you more and more awesome stories of these empty spaces.