Driving through the country roads, one might happen upon a road with a somewhat cryptic name. Sanatorium Road stretches up a mountain and leads to the abandoned Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital.
In 1907, New Jersey opened its only state owned and operated sanatorium in Glen Gardner. It was intended to be a model institution, providing individual and public health benefits to an expected 500 case annually. Ahead if its time in terms of treatment methods, the facility treated more than 10,000 people between 1907 and 1929.
By the 1920s, the sanatorium’s mission had been broadened to incorporate treatment of all cases, regardless of severity. When the sanatorium opened, the original plan was that only “incipients,” or “curables” would be treated. The sanatorium’s treatment methods remained relatively unchanged until the middle of the 20th century, when newer and more innovative medicines began to be develop. In 1950, the sanatorium broaden its scope of treatments once more, this to to include all chest diseases. The hospital was closed down in the late 1970s, and was left to fall apart.
In 1977, the Senator Garret W. Hagedorn Gero-Psychiatric Hospital, or “Hagedorn” was built right next to where the abandoned tuberculosis center-turned-hospital site lay. Hagedorn, which was really an extension of the New Jersey Hospital that was rotting next to it with a new name, focused on its new calling as a state nursing home and, eventually, a 288-bed psychiatric hospital.
But throughout 2011 there was a debate about whether to close Hagedorn. The following year it was shut down, and left abandoned, just like its neighbor and predecessor.