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WVU Hosts Lecture at TALA

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West Virginia University hosted a lecture Thursday night at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston.

Photographer Chris Payne visited 70 abandoned state hospitals in seven years. TALA dates back to the late 1850s and features a pre-Civil War architecture that's fairly unique.

Payne said the inside of institutions like this looked more like dormitories than hospitals.

"They are from a time when it was perceived the design and the construction. The architecture could help mental illness. So there's a direct link between the architecture and the original theories of the people who made these buildings," Payne said.

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum operated as a state psychiatric hospital from 1864 until 1994.