3. Pilgrim State Hospital, Long Island

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll images via Matthew Christopher for Abandoned America

Pilgrim Psychiatric Center on Long Island, or the Pilgrim State Hospital as it was once called, was one of four state hospitals built to rectify New York’s overcrowded institutions. During its heyday in the years following World War II, it treated almost 14,000 patients and is the only one out of four, including the yet-to-be-built Englewood State Hospital, still functioning as a psychiatric center, albeit on significantly reduced grounds. A number of its empty buildings still remain, however.

Pilgrim, named for former New York State Commissioner of Mental Health Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim, opened in 1931 and grew steadily through the 40s. At one point it operated its own police and fire departments, post office, Long Island Railroad station, and church.

In the ’90s, Kings Park, Central Islip, and Englewood were all closed, with their remaining patients either released into community care or relocated to Pilgrim.