9. Letchworth Village, Thiells, New York
A former dormitory for boys located within the facility grounds.
Letchworth Village is a former institution for the mentally and physically disabled in Haverstraw, New York in Rockland County. Constructed in 1911, the facility was modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia plantation, Monticello, following the concept that fresh air and sunlight were the best medicine for the mentally ill.
The Thiells facility was the unfortunate location in which many patients were used as human guinea pigs to test experimental clinical trials. Perhaps the most notable experiments were the trials to test the polio vaccine, which happened to be the first experiments for the vaccine in the world using a human test subject.
Letchworth Village closed in 1996 but remains open to the public as a local park to walk the grounds and observe the deteriorating buildings. Paths through the grounds are paved and visitors are only allowed on the paved portions, while the buildings themselves are strictly forbidden from entering due to their poor state.