Posted on behalf of Fei Tian College at Middletown and Northern Academy of the Arts
Spring is here! The greater sunlight and warmth can invigorate us as we complete our upcoming projects or try to accomplish our personal goals. Even the idea of cleaning at the beginning of spring can bring with it a sense of renewal.
The once-abandoned Middletown Homeopathic Hospital is also experiencing a transformative renewal as an educational hub in Middletown. Fei Tian College at Middletown and Northern Academy of the Arts want to use this spring season to celebrate the renewal of this historical site.
So, with that said, Fei Tian College and Northern Academy are hosting a celebration of renewal with the “Spring Moonlight Gala: A Performance of Timeless Grace and Gallantry.” On Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. students and faculty will share classical dance and music performances at the Paramount Theatre in Middleton, as we celebrate the beauty of Spring with the community.
The rich history of Middletown’s Homeopathic Hospital
Many of the residents of Middletown are familiar with the Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital, which later became known as the Middletown Psychiatric Center. Having a special place in Middletown’s history, even the street names around the hospital are named after the employees that once worked there.
Established in 1874, the facility was the first in the United States to use homeopathic practices to treat mental illnesses. The incorporation of homeopathic treatments — which included not only treating symptoms but also improving the whole person — helped the hospital create programs that allowed patients to continue to develop their full potential, with some patients becoming successful artists and hall-of-fame baseball players.
By the 1960s, however, the hospital began to decline and eventually closed in 2006, leaving behind a host of abandoned buildings in need of repair. The city considered demolishing the historic landmark.
Historic site’s renewal with a view to the future
Around 2015, Fei Tian College in Middletown began purchasing and renovating these dilapidated buildings. Northern Academy and Schoolhouse, institutions seeking to revitalize primary and secondary education, also occupy buildings on the campus. As the buildings renewed, so did interest, and faculty, staff, and students began to fill classrooms and hallways with a common interest grounded in renewal.
Outside of the buildings, however, what exactly do these institutions seek to renew? At their core, there is an emphasis on virtue ethics; they look to the past for wisdom in how they might move toward the future. Here, the faculty, staff, and students try to look at traditional values in new ways.
These liberal arts institutions give new purpose to old buildings: they provide higher education and moral instruction, high-quality art and performance, and economic growth to the greater community. Yet, like the Middletown Homeopathic Hospital, these institutions also seek to care for and develop faculty, staff, and students holistically.
This positive attitude toward the past and the creative potential of future renovations are beneficial to Middletown and the Hudson Valley area. This type of positive renewal cannot go without celebration, and we invite you to join us on Saturday, May 6 at the Paramount!
The Spring Moonlight Gala will be held Saturday, May 6, at 3:00 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre on 17 South St, Middletown, NY 10940. Get tickets at middletownparamount.com.