Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
This hospital fell into ruins after failing to act as the advocate for the mentally ill it was designed to be.
Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital opened on August 17th 1876 in Morristown, New Jersey.
Originally named the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum, the building opened in part due to the work of Dorothea Dix, a nurse who was an advocate for better health care for people with mental illnesses. Once open for business, the hospital quickly filled with patients, becoming the institution that not only cared for those residing in the northern part of New Jersey but also the transfer location for patients that could not be accommodated in the only other asylum in the state, located in Trenton.
However, Greystone quickly became overwhelmed with patients and only four years after opening its doors, it was already housing several hundred more patients than it was designed for. Construction on the hospital was frequent in an attempt to meet the need of the massive influx of patients, but the demand was simply too overwhelming and rumors began to spread of insufficient care.
With the 1970s and 1980s came a bit of relief in enrollment due to the the more frequent prescription of psychiatric drugs, and gradually the hospital buildings and extra wings began to close. In 2000, the governor of New Jersey announced that the facility would be closed by 2003 citing concerns about the building’s structural integrity, although many speculated it was also in part due to the recent bad press the hospital was getting for lack of care.
Update: Ground was broken on a new mental health facility on the Greystone grounds in 2005, and Greystone, the second largest building in the country next to the Pentagon, was knocked down in 2015.
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