10. The hospital houses its own sculpture garden which was vandalized in 2014
Amid the sound of ambulances is a surprisingly peaceful sculpture garden near the water called the Bellevue Sobriety Garden. The quarter-acre park between First Avenue and the FDR Drive includes sculptures, mosaics, plants, and other artistic features. The Sobriety Garden, as its name suggests, was begun by Bellevue psychiatrist Dr. Annatina Miescher in 1989 who got recovering addicts from its Chemical Recovery Program to help tend the plants. The park was almost destroyed in 2006 after proposals were put forward for additional parking, though patients and staff objected.
The fairly secret garden includes all sorts of sculptures of human figures and animals, though in 2014, dozens of animal sculptures were vandalized. According to a 2014 New York Times article, “The faces of rams were cracked and crumbling. The neck and beak of a bird sculpture were broken and hanging to the side.” The cement, sand, and chicken wire sculptures, many of which were created by patients, were left scattered across the garden. Since then, the garden has been attended to by hospital staff, counselors, volunteers, and patients who have worked to restore the garden. You can see it now in full bloom in the spring and summer months!
Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of Sea View Hospital on Staten Island!