Our Story

Approximately 20 percent of Americans over the age of 18, suffer from a mental disorder.
About 5 percent of adults are affected so seriously that it interferes with their ability to function in society. 

For nearly two decades the old Psychiatric Tower in Rochester, New York has loomed vacant on the cities edge. This monolithic structure was once home to thousands of patients from 1959 to when it closed in 1995. We have been able to go inside and to talk with some of those who lived and worked there in order to understand the impact this building had on their lives.

By exploring the hollowed halls of the Terrence Tower with former patients and staff we hope to inspire a dialog about mental health care in our communities.

The Filmmaker

My name is Dylan Toombs and I am a videographer at a Western, NY PBS television studio. Echo of the Past: The Terrence Tower has been a side project of mine for over two years now and is in no way associated with PBS. This documentary is an independent film and is solely intended for educational purposes.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Brenda Lederman says:

    I was a social worker at the Terrence Building ( we called it the Med-Surg Bldg) 1962-65 and met my husband there (a medical student working the summer) – this was very interesting! thank you!

  2. Peggy Norry says:

    I used to be a secretary at the Rochester Psychiatric Center (RPC) and worked in the Terrence Building from 1983 until 1995 when we all moved to the new buiding. The building and the people that lived and worked at RPC are fascinating, and I am sure there are many stories to tell. I can’t wait to see this movie!

  3. Phil Rock says:

    My mother was a patient there in the late seventies to the early eighties. She did not have fond memories of the place. She was there for several years for severe depression, finally emerging with large gaps of missing memory from shock treatments, and liver damage from the high doses of anti-depressants she was administered. I hold no ill will however; I understand that psychiatry is still in its infancy and can hardly be classified as science yet. The building itself was once an impressive (and imposing if you’ve stood at the front entrance) monument to a beautiful idea, but is now just an abandoned reminder of how little regard humanity has for the mentally ill. The new facilities have a fraction of the beds the Terrence building had. How many patients were simply let go when they closed its doors? This sounds like a worthwhile project. I hope you take a broad and unobjective view of the buildings history.

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