Huge Decaying Religious & Educational Campus in the Midwest (pics from a few more recent visits) *** The Bird Incident***

TL;DR – History is fun and the caring people who lived and worked here strove towards benefiting the lives of countless individuals!

This entire complex has such a rich and layered history. Since it’s inception, this place has been helping to better the lives of all individuals with disabilities, learning or otherwise. At a time when the world had no concept of proper care or treatment for any disabled person, this facility was forging the way for how others would care for, and work with these individuals.

Children of all ages and with various types of disabilities were brought here. These children came in with everything from complete loss of physical and mental control, all the way to children with minor learning disabilities, such as ADHD. When families or societies could no longer shoulder the burden of teaching and raising these children, they would bring them here. The Sisters of St. Francis of Assis would care for, love, and teach these discarded and sometimes unwanted children, and give them every opportunity to not just survive, but thrive.

At its height, this facility housed 500 students and 103 Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. That is almost a 5 to 1, student to sister ratio. Each sister had numerous tasks and cared for many more than 5 individual students. Sisters had a primary role on campus (teaching, farming, nursing, cooking, cutting hair, laundry, etc.) as well as other tasks to complete.

The children were taught how to cut each others hair, how to farm and garden, butchering livestock, cooking, cleaning, first aid, etc. In the 1940s the initial part of the hotel for housing the families of students was built. The students were then taught how to run and operate that hotel.

Eight years after her botched lobotomy, Rose Kennedy would live out her remaining life here starting in 1949. For 55 years she was nurtured, cared for, and looked after up until her passing at 86 years old. The Kennedy’s donated funds for several buildings to be built onsite. The very first special olympics swim meet was held here, in their olympic sized swimming pool!

ok ok ok enough history… GEEZ

Now for a little info about the “Bird Incident” (Potentially more details in the audio walk-thru, give us a listen)

TL;DR – A bird was trapped in an abandoned building and by trying to help it beef ended up causing its death. This caused him to shut down and be uber depressed until he found new locations to explore. Once new entries had been made, all was right in beef’s world!

We headed out to the site on a gloomy & misty morning. After our initial entry we made our way to one of the larger school buildings. We roamed through the halls, but had to bypass our normal stairwell because a fire door was blocking our path. We turned around and headed back towards the stairwell on the opposite side of the building. Just before reaching that other stairwell we had to pass through a large atrium with floor to ceiling glass windows.

As we made our way through that atrium, a trapped pigeon flew past our heads and banged into the glass, startling us. We quickly continued through the atrium, not wanting to scare the pigeon anymore than we already had. Once we came to the stairwell we proceeded to the 2nd or 3rd floor.

Upon reaching the next floor, all I could think about was that damn pigeon starving to death, and how horrible that would be… I formulated a plan to save the trapped bird. I took off one of my shirts in the hopes of covering the pigeon, scooping it up, and letting it out a hole in one of the stairwell’s windows.

I re-entered the atrium and the bird was uneasy. I started to approach it and it flew off, crashing into the window again. Now stunned and on the ground, I quickly covered and scooped up the bird. I rushed up the stairs to release my new friend out the window. I held my arms out near the hole in the glass. As I uncovered the bird’s head to release it, it’s neck and head “flopped over” with no real support. I instantly knew this bird was dead from its last impact with the window…

My heart, soul, and need to continue exploring were all crushed. I don’t normally do altruistic things, especially for birds, but today I needed to save this lil bird. For at least the next hour or two my mind was consumed with thoughts like, did I snap it’s neck, did it commit suicide, was this a better death than starving? All of these thoughts and emotions for a pigeon(flying rat) were really screwing with me. I could not shake the fact, that by trying to help, I had killed this poor creature.

The exploration that followed was a stress-filled, second-guessing myself, unsure about everything -adventure. As we continued to roam the halls my mind was stuck on that damn bird and we eventually had to cut our explore short. I wanted to take a final lap around the grounds to see if “my” bird miraculously healed it’s broken neck and flew away. After completing that lap, “my” bird was still dead.. :/ Yet, we were on a side of the building nearest the pool, and I could see a weakness in its plywood!

I thank that bird for its sacrifice, and I truly feel horrible for what happened. Without that bird’s death we wouldn’t have taken that extra lap, and we wouldn’t have gained access to the pool! I think a quick death is more preferable than a drawn out starvation death, right?

Once we identified a way in to the pool the day kept getting better and better! I was still a bit beat down, but I was smiling and back into my exploring element. We continued to find new and unexplored(to us) places. Places that we had wanted and needed to access to, were currently being crossed off our list. The wonderment of exploring had returned, and we were being rewarded with many cool and unexpected places. A basketball court and bowling lanes were just two extra cherries on top of the sundae that this day had become! KEEP EXPLORING!

Two little videos from that day. Please check em out

The fun after the “Bird Incident”

We were so turned around looking for the “Auditorium” – Sorry the video is so dark- You’ll want to stick around for the rainfall audio, within the 1 min or so…

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Please enjoy! If you are bored, give our walk-thru a listen and send us an email!

My UE Partner’s pics are below!

Just some extra shots from a more recent visit here. The rising sun really illuminated this entire site. My pics follow.

As always, again, thank you all for playing along! It really does mean a ton to us! Like, comment, share, subscribe, and all other interactions are welcome and encouraged! You could even tell us about a spot you want us to check out, or just send us an email for the hell of it! Email US

UE Partner’s pics from the hit & run morning. We just happened to be down the road shooting sunrise pics and decided to pop past here. Glad we did!

Look a human terrarium
This hallway continues to decay at a staggering rate
need a lil pot?
Well that is balcony is a bit flooded
We made it in the pool
Have always wanted to access this place
olde tyme records
Flooded tunnel to parts unknown(until they weren’t)
incinerators always remind me of my burned and charred Thunder Cats Lunch box
more classic industry
8-bit tile art!
8-bit tiles
elevator motor at the top of a small stairwell
fun extra congregation room
really loved the light and the stained glass
these open spaces provided a sense of wonder
secondary kitchen
meat slicer??? needs more research
a second before the “Epic Handshake” or “The Predator Handshake” religious version
tons of cool little alcoves, all of them beautiful
Saint Luke
Saint John
Saint Matthew
Saint Mark
This stained glass was amazing
Seriously would love this whole piece in my home
8-bit everywhere
This Is a UFO / UAP over early religious symbolism
Definitely a UFO, you can’t change my mind
red and blue granite.. or marble, but so so cool
fairly certain this is granite… Either way, it is gorgeous
inside of the confessional
confessional doors
“Big Mac” of Faith
was a bit scared, thought they were working here
unexpected bowling alley
bowling alley hidden in a church basement
if I could’ve take this home, I would’ve
Basketball court in a church basement
Smoking Lounge (blast from the past)
bowling ball on the basketball court
If the court was clear, I would’ve shot a couple hoops
some of the church pews
sports equipment
tunnel back to the pool
old fashioned light board
gorgeous open spaces with morning light pouring in
working TOLEDO scale
working TOLEDO scale
raffle spinner
old blueprints
Pickin up a lil pot at a bando
Sometimes I wonder if abandoned buildings think about me
beef and his ‘bed roll” haha
kneeling beef
hey there
Altar cloth with detailed cleaning instruction just left in a sink
working TOLEDO scale
these halls seemed to go on forever
beef releasing a trapped pigeon… Yet, it was dead.. Listen to the walk-thru for more context :/
the amount of water damage and decay in some of these rooms was crazy
but we shall!
rotting built-in
mandatory locker shot in all educational facilities
this old music room was one of the most deteriorating places here
the buckling of the floor was crazy!
super warped and buckling floor
Flooded auditorium balcony
the sound of the rain falling in here was truly amazing
boys room blue
girls room pink
nature finds a way
nature finds a way
this ceiling was actually on the ceiling last time we were here
Auditorium with “jean’s” chair
piano waiting to be played again, in a time when it wasn’t neglected
dental/medical light and a Apollo Bath walk in for people with mobility concerns
How low can you go?” with that big ass bag on…
low ceiling
decaying light fixture
rusty light switch
well there’s your problem!? hard to make a call now
the human terrarium is encroaching on the interior
it is always party time somewhere
Years ago when I first visited here, this was the first pile of decay and regrowth I had come across!
I picture Rose Kennedy sitting around this fountain
but we DID! and it was amazing
hahahah entry has been made
The very first special olympic swim meet was held in this pool
The very first special olympic swim meet was held in this pool
flooded tunnel from the pool to the church basement
peeling “not-lead” paint
8-bit marsh scene
how the hell does a fire door end up like that?
the usual calendar shot
“Mail Call”
piles of “racing bibs” spilled onto the floor of the attic
finger, Yar!
sheets of paint pulling away from the wall
long kitchen prep room off the main kitchen
vaulted cold storage room?
who’s thursty
lets make a mixer on an explore
need your clothes crispy
dish washing area
gota have a tray shot
Nana would’ve loved these appliances
more bluprints
detailed instruction on cleaning the altar cloth
basement bowling alley
need a place to smoke a few darts
pew, pews
vintage sports equipment
is that a basketball court in the basement?!
Hey there is a laundry on site! lets go
weigh your carts full of clothes
stacks and stacks of tiles for all the different rooms and buildings
took a few laps around sun ise
don’t mind if I do!
love brick work
couldn’t get in, but wanted a few pics through the windows
site of the bird incident
the sunrise greeting our goofy selves!
these spaces in the morning sunshine are awe inspiring
a great feeling of reverence washed over me as I peeked in
protected from most of the elements this small biome seems to be thriving
the contrast between the woodwork, carpet, drywall, and the green plant material retaking the porch is very interesting
strange place to put a vape cart!

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