1. Renwick Smallpox Castle Ruins (Southern tip of Roosevelt Island)
Not functionally an asylum, the Renwick Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island opened in 1856. It mostly served those afflicted with smallpox, but also held some clinically insane patients. In 1886, the building transitioned into a nurses’ residence and hospital training center. Soon after the island was renamed Welfare Island, the hospital was deserted. Since then, the building has fallen into ruin. Despite this, the structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 (becoming the city’s only landmarked ruin), and plans were made to restore it. Not much progress has been made as the ruin currently sits behind a fence on the grounds of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.
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