The dark inner hall of the Asylum reveals row after row of abandoned rooms. Derelict and abandoned, this place is the subject of an urban myth that it was an asylum run secretly by the military from the 50’s to the 70’s. In reality, this now-condemend structure, covered with graffiti, and crumbling, was once a part of our NIKE national defense system. A cold-war artifact, this was one of several bases that encircled the city of Miami to protect from the Cuban missile threat. The true purpose was far more ominous than a simple asylum. Regular drills, and real-life alerts brought these facilities, and others in the area which controlled nuclear weapons, to ready state.
Having grown up in Miami, it was a sobering realization to learn that these facilities existed. At the height of the Cold War, when I was in grade school less than 20 miles away from this spot, the NIKE defense sites were put on launch-ready alert as often as once a week. I learned this on a tour of other facilities in Everglades National Park only three yeas ago.
Taken with a Canon 5D and Tamron 28-300 VC lens, this is a three-exposure HDR, tripod-mounted. Merged and tonemapped in Photomatix and converted to black and white in Aperture.