The Franklin Hall building is one of the happier (or at least less-sad) buildings at Letchworth Village. As far as anyone I spoke to knows, it has never been used as a dormitory.
Perhaps not coincidentally, no one I've spoken to believes that Franklin Hall is haunted. At Letchworth Village, that's kind of an unusual distinction.
Franklin hall was built in 1926, originally as the headquarters for the food service department. I was also able to confirm that it had a banquet hall where many Village functions were held.
There also was a large courtyard adjacent to the building that was used for outdoor events. It can be seen in the aerial segments of this video.
A former staff member told me that Franklin Hall also has a printing press in the basement, so there's a good chance it was where Village Views, the institution's monthly newspaper, was printed. The newspaper was published from 1927 until 1949.
Finally, one former staff member told me that from the mid 1990's until some time after all the residents had been moved out of Letchworth Village, Franklin Hall was occupied by personnel from the Information Technology department and other administrative departments.
This video was mainly shot at ground level because there's not much to see from altitude other than that the roof, and especially the chimneys, are in surprisingly good condition for a building of this age that's been neglected for so long.
As with most buildings at Letchworth Village that have not fallen victim to arson or other vandalism, Franklin Hall seems to me to be in reasonably good condition. There is water damage to the edges of the roof, the awnings over the front and side doors, and the columns of the side doors, mainly due to neglect and vegetation; but the walls, roof, and chimneys are still straight and the exterior stones and mortar are sound.
Had this well-constructed building been maintained properly, it looks to me like it could still be in use today. But then again, the same could be said of Letchworth Village itself. It opened with the noblest of intentions, but became a human warehouse due to the state's relentless insistence that the institution accept more patients, without commensurate and adequate funding to properly care for them. These buildings testify to the uncanny ability of the New York State legislature to utterly destroy and corrupt anything it touches.
The screen shots in the gallery that follows are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (CC BY-SA). In other words, you are free to use them pursuant to the terms of the license.
Special thanks to Idri and Mother Rita for setting me straight and correcting me with regard to the history and other facts surrounding Letchworth Village.
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