Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital in Kings Park, New York. Image by Abandoned NYC.
New York City is no stranger to abandoned buildings. Abandoned hospitals and asylums are some of the most well-worn destinations on the urban explorer path, and the areas just outside of the city are loaded with many institutional buildings that have been left to crumble.
When these hospitals were constructed, the commonly accepted theory was that fresh air and sunlight was the best medicine a patient could receive. This encouraged the construction of hospitals outside of the city, where a patient could be properly treated. The further one travels from New York City, forgotten hospitals become a more common sight, left to ruin as the philosophy on healthcare shifted from rural isolation to local care in the last century.
Here are 10 abandoned hospitals in the area outside of New York City.
10. Hudson River State Hospital, Poughkeepsie, NY
The Hudson River State Hospital, a former state psychiatric hospital in Poughkeepsie, was constructed in 1871 as a part of the Kirkbride Plan. The Kirkbride Plan was pioneered by Thomas Story Kirkbride and utilized a new method to treat the mentally ill, as opposed to being thrown into county jails and prisons, called “Moral Treatment.”
Kirkbride envisioned treatment facilities that were humane, designing the hospitals with massive buildings where air and light circulation were key to the patients’ treatment. Some of the country’s best architects worked with Kirkbride to design the facility, including Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted, the designers behind Central Park.
The Hudson River State Hospital was operational from 1871 to 2003 until the 160 acres and countless buildings became too crowded and was forced to close. The facility has been abandoned since its closing 14 years ago.