I recently saw a letter to the editor about how the Kennebec Arsenal “deserves more” (Dec. 13). I would second that motion wholeheartedly and extend it to the entire former Augusta Mental Health Institute (AMHI) campus, which neighbors the Arsenal.

I genuinely think the people of Augusta do not realize what a historic gem they have right under their noses. Opened in the 1840s and closed in the 2000s, the campus represents the long history of mental health treatment in this country. If those walls could talk.

The buildings that made up the AMHI are beyond historically significant and structures like them are getting rarer. So many former asylums are being torn down (or have been already). I fear that with their demise, an important and neglected part of our history will be lost. The state of Maine and city of Augusta should do more to interpret the history of the site.

 

Maxwell Nosbisch

Hallowell

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