Other Locations

The following page contains addresses, descriptions, and general historical information (where appropriate) for the locations outside of New York City featured in The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness. The house and office locations are listed by the surname of the owner of the building/apartment, while locations that are not houses or offices are listed by the name of the location. For more information about key New York City locations featured in the Alienist books, or for historical maps of these locations, please use the side menu. If you would like more information on the plots of the Alienist books, characters in the Alienist books, or general historical information relating to the time period the Alienist books are set in, please refer to the main menu above.

Adam Dury’s Residence

Address: North of Newton, MA

Featured in The Alienist (see map)

While searching for more information on John Beecham’s early life within The Alienist, Dr. Kreizler and John Moore visit Adam Dury’s dairy cattle farm to the north of the township of Newton in Massachusetts. His small farm is composed of two dilapidated barns, a farmhouse, and rock-strewn pasture in which a herd of dairy cattle graze. Old farm machinery and dilapidated wagons are strewn around the barnyard, and a chicken coop can be observed through one of the barn doorways. The Doctor and John conduct their meeting with Mr. Dury inside one of the barns, and are not invited into the farmhouse.

Franklin Family Residence

Address: East of Schaghticoke, NY

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

Within The Angel of Darkness, several members of the team visit the home of the Franklin family located in rural Schaghticoke to obtain further information on Libby Hatch’s upbringing. Cornfields and a large green barn with barnyard flank the property to the left, and cow pastures flank it to the right. The residence is surrounded by a white picket fence and is described as “a small but pleasant-looking little house, its clapboards bearing a fresh coat of white paint and its neatly clipped lawn bordered by pretty little flower patches” (A 507). While interviewing Mrs. Franklin, the team have lemonade and iced tea on the screened porch at the back of the property that is furnished with wicker chairs. Later in their visit, the team view the grave and headstone of Libby’s pet dog located in the barnyard near a patch of raspberry bushes.

Hatch Family Residence

Address: Outside of Ballston Spa, NY

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

Within The Angel of Darkness, the team visit the old abandoned Hatch house to collect evidence for their case. The two-story house is located two miles out from Ballston Spa in the opposite direction to the Westons’ farmhouse (see below), and is in a dilapidated state. Its dark shingling has turned “a blackish shade of brown” (A 312), while the hedges that originally surrounded the house are growing inside the broken windows on the ground floor. “A few old, worn headstones inside a rusty iron fence” (A 312) are located underneath a dead oak tree in the backyard, and maple saplings and creeping vines make the collapsing building difficult to see from the front yard. Rubbish is able to be observed spilling out of the front door in a manner suggesting the house is a popular spot for trouble-making local kids, and a large rectangular space filled with weeds and bushes indicate that a garden was once located on the far side of the yard. The team focus their efforts on a well located down behind the garden near the woods that border the property.

Mrs. Muhlenberg’s Residence

Address: Southern edge of Stillwater, NY

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

When searching for more information about Libby Hatch in the towns surrounding Ballston Spa during The Angel of Darkness, Miss Howard and Stevie Taggert visit Mrs. Muhlenberg in Stillwater. Described by the locals as the “old yellow house”, Mrs. Muhlenberg’s small residence located on the southern edge of the town is dilapidated with peeling paint and covered in dead climbing plants. Miss Howard and Stevie are only admitted to the dimly lit sitting room, and the old furniture is described as being in a state of decrepitude. The property is located next to the “black ruins” of Mrs. Muhlenberg’s original residence, which was destroyed in a fire set by Libby Hatch, and its remains comprise no more than rubble and two crumbling chimney pieces.

Patent Office

Patent Office Interior

Address: Entire block between Seventh and Ninth Streets, Washington, D.C.

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

During The Alienist, John Moore spends a number of days at a desk in the corner of a windowless basement records room of the Patent Office in Washington D.C. researching violent incidents between settlers and various Sioux tribes with the help of Hobart Weaver, his friend from the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. John describes the building within the book as follows.

The Alienist, 317:

The enormous Greek Revival Patent Office had been completed in 1867 and was of a general layout that was fast becoming the rule for official buildings in the capital: rectangular, hollow, and as monotonous on the inside as it was without. All of the two blocks between Seventh and Ninth streets were taken up by the thing, and it was no small job, once I’d gotten inside, to find Hobart’s office. This vastness ultimately proved a blessing, however, for my presence provoked no comment: there were hundreds of federal employees wandering the hallways of the building’s four wings, most of them ignorant of one another’s identities and functions.

Although the Patent Office originally housed a number of different government departments, the department that gave the building its name needed a large space to house the thousands of scale models that inventors were required to submit under United States patent law.1 During the Civil War years, the building’s enormous space also found function as a temporary military barracks and hospital2, and was the selected venue for Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Ball. Between 1877 and 1885, Adolf Cluss restored the building’s west wing in a “modern Renaissance” style following the 1877 fire in that wing that destroyed 87,000 patent models.1 The building was occupied by the Patent Office until 1932, and was eventually assigned to the Smithsonian in 1958.1,2

Rupert Picton’s Residence

Address: Junction of Charlton & High Streets, Ballston Spa, NY

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

Within The Angel of Darkness, the investigative team stay with Rupert Picton, one of John Moore’s friends. Located in Ballston Spa, his house was built by his father for his mother in the 1860s. It is in the Victorian Gothic style and has four turrets on each of its corners with a wide porch that wraps around the entire house. The front and rear gardens contain roses, ivy, and elm trees that have grown somewhat out of control. The interior is described within the books as follows.

The Angel of Darkness, 283-4:

The ground floor of Mr. Picton’s house had a reception room what might’ve served as a convention hall. Stocked to overflowing with heavy, velvet-upholstered furniture that was centered around a carved stone fireplace you could’ve walked right into, it also contained the usual recreational items, like a piano and a big card table. At the center of the house was a staircase made out of heavy, polished oak, and then, mirroring the reception room on the other side of the stairs, there was an enormous dining room crammed full of chairs, sideboards, and a table what were all in the same style as the things in the living room. The bedrooms on the upper floors – located as Mr. Picton’d said, in the four corner turrets – were of similarly huge dimensions, each with its own big fireplace and most with their own baths.

The bathrooms, which are decorated with marble and tiles, are also described as being unusually large. Each of the characters selected their own bedroom. Miss Howard chose a room with an impressive view of the garden and stream, while the Isaacson brothers and Stevie all chose rooms on the third floor. It is unclear which rooms were chosen by Dr. Kreizler, John, and Cyrus.

Saratoga County Courthouse and Jail

Address: High Street, Ballston Spa, NY

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

Within The Angel of Darkness, the investigative team spend a considerable period of time at Ballston Spa where one of John Moore’s friends, Rupert Picton, helps them take Libby Hatch to court. Due to this, both the court room of the Saratoga County Courthouse and Jail, as well as Mr. Picton’s office within the building, are major settings within the book. The exterior of this new (i.e., less than 10 year old in 1897) court house is described as being “run-of-the-mill”. It has thick stone walls with a square tower positioned over one of its corners. Stevie Taggert also notes that it looks appropriate as a jail with strong bars across the basement cell windows. The interior of the building was more favourably described.

The Angel of Darkness, 294:

The walls in the main hall were constructed in alternating types and colors of stone, set in pleasing patterns, and the double-height windows were framed in deep oak what was kept richly polished, as were the big mahogany doors to the main courtroom, located at the far end, and the smaller hearing room on the left. Sunlight was thrown across the marble floor from a few different directions, and the marble stairs what led up to the offices had a beautiful semicircular window at their first landing, along with a series of expertly made iron lighting fixtures running along the banisters.

The main court room is also described as being handsome, although with “less frills” than most New York City court rooms. The judge’s bench, pews in the gallery, and pews on the main floor are made out of fruitwood while the doors throughout the building are made of oak. Mr. Picton’s office is located on the second floor of the building down a hall opposite the gallery doorway, and consists of two rooms. One room is smaller and is intended for a secretary (although Mr. Picton works without one), while the other is larger and looks out over the railroad tracks and train station. The latter contains a roll-top desk, leather chairs, and is full of law books that are strewn around in a disorganised manner.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Address: 1100 Alabama Avenue South-East, Washington, D.C.

Featured in The Alienist (see map)

Although we readers do not “visit” St. Elizabeth’s Hospital during The Alienist, Dr. Kreizler spends a considerable amount of time there during his stay in Washington D.C. in order to search the hospital’s records for soldiers who had been dismissed due to mental instability. Historically, Congress opened the hospital’s Gothic Revival style Center Building in 1855 as an asylum, primarily in response to campaigning by Dorothea Dix who devoted her life to improving the living conditions and treatment of the insane. As the Civil War began only a few years after its opening, however, the hospital’s primary use during its early years was for treatment of injured soldiers, both Union and Confederate, rather than as an asylum.3

Following the Civil War, the hospital was returned to its original purpose and was expanded over the years. The 176-acre grounds, which have spectacular views over the city and the Potomac, eventually contained a bakery, shops, and a broom factory that some patients were assigned work in, along with a quadrangle, gardens, fields, an orchard, and a vineyard. Families of wealthy patients also built houses for their relatives on the grounds, some of which are still standing today.3

Weston Family Residence

Address: Malta Road, outside of Ballston Spa, NY

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

Within The Angel of Darkness, Dr. Kreizler regularly visits the Weston family’s farmhouse in order to assess Libby Hatch’s daughter, Clara. The Westons’ farmhouse is located one and a half miles out from Ballston Spa, in a very rural area. The house itself is set close to a large brick-red barn, and has a vegetable garden on one side and a small area of pastureland surrounded by a barbed wire fence on the other. Bordered on the opposite side of the pastureland is “a stream that ran at the base of a high wooded hill behind it” (AoD 306), and it is in this spot underneath a large maple tree that the Doctor conducts some of his sessions with Clara.

Willard Hotel

The Willard Hotel

Address: 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

Featured in The Alienist (see map)

Within The Alienist, Dr. Kreizler and John Moore stay in a pair of “comfortable rooms” at the Willard Hotel in Washington D. C. while searching official records for further clues about John Beecham’s life prior to his arrival in New York City. During the time The Alienist was set, the Willard Hotel was not the 12-story grand Beaux-Arts structure of today, but instead was a handsome 5-story hotel that had been enlarged by Henry Willard in 1847 from the six houses that previously occupied the location. Its “elegant” public rooms occupied the ground floor while the guest rooms, always fashionably outfitted with the latest conveniences, occupied the four floors above.4

Due to being fortuitously located within walking distance from the White House, the Willard had earned a reputation by the mid-nineteenth century as a first-class hotel servicing politicians, journalists, and lobbyists while Congress was in session. Known as the “Residence of Presidents”, by the 1860s it was also well-established tradition for president-elects to stay at the Willard prior to their inauguration, with one of the most noteworthy occasions being the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in 1861 when there was so little room left in the hotel that 475 mattresses were laid out in its corridors and public rooms in an attempt to accommodate additional guests. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in 1862 that, “Willard’s Hotel could more justly be called the center of Washington and the Union than either the Capitol, the White House, or the State Department.”4

The hotel had its ups and downs over the subsequent years, but it always remained a first-class establishment and hosted a wide variety of notable individuals including John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Lord Napier, Ulysses S. Grant, Emily Dickinson, Julia Ward Howe, and Mark Twain among a great many others. Joseph Edward Willard would take control of the hotel in 1897, the year following the events of The Alienist, and transform it into the hotel we recognise today during a rebuilding that took place between 1901 and 1902.4

Mrs. Louisa Wright’s Residence

Address: Beech Street, Ballston Spa, NY

Featured in The Angel of Darkness (see map)

Within The Angel of Darkness, Stevie Taggert and Miss Howard visit Mrs. Louisa Wright to obtain further information about Libby Hatch for their case. Mrs. Wright’s residence, located in the town of Ballston Spa, has heavy curtains and drapes covering her windows in order to block out the artificial light used in the neighboring Schafer greenhouses, and this makes the house unusually quiet except for the loud ticking of a clock on the parlor mantle. The house is not described in any detail, but Stevie notes that the many pictures that decorate the home of Mrs. Wright’s deceased husband who died during the Civil War “completed the funeral home feel of the joint” (AoD 349).

References

1. Wikipedia, “Old Patent Office Building” 15 Mar. 2013. Link.
2. U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Historic Medical Sites in the Washington DC Area: Patent Office” 3 Aug. 2011. Link.
3. Holley, Joe, “Tussle Over St. Elizabeths”, The Washington Post 17 June 2007. Link.
4. Brownstein, Elizabeth Smith, “The Willard Hotel”, White House History (Issue 31).

— Last updated on by Kim