FYI: “Gallery” posts mean mostly photos instead of my usual half photos/half writing posts. I do gallery posts when I’m saving the history write ups for a later date.
Update, August 2014: Demolition of Greystone started in the spring and progressed with unprecedented speed, despite multiple lawsuits and appeals to stop the process and save the building. RIP Greystone. Fuck you, New Jersey.
I’ve been hoarding my Greystone photos for a couple of years now, with plans to use them for an entirely separate blog about Greystone, because I have more photos, history and trivial tangents for it than can fit ina single post. But New Jersey recently announced plans to tear down Greystone, so it can use all the PR possible. While I have no delusions that a buncha garbage photos by a amateur explorer will help save the building, I do think that all and any attention to the asylum is pertinent. There are a few organizations trying to save it, mainly preservegreystone.org, and a number of Greystone projects were recently released, including Phillip Buehler’s book about Woody Guthrie’s years at Greystone, two urban explorers have put together a documentary that they’ll discuss this Thursday, April 17th, at Preserve Greystone’s annual meeting, and on a much less important scale, the Daily Mail ran a bunch of my photos. In case you were wondering how old I am, the article helpfully provides that information not once, not twice, but FIVE fucking times. The text in the article is not mine, only the photos.
Before we get to the photos, here’s the briefest outline of Greystone’s history: The main building is a kirkbride, a type of asylum architecture I discuss in some detail here. The hospital opened in 1876 and quickly went the route that most state asylums did- increasing population leading to overcrowding and the mistreatment of patients, dubious medical treatments, the invention of Thorazine and budget cuts leading to mass deinstitutionalization and eventually the tiered closing of the hospital throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital still operates in a newer facility adjacent to the old kirkbride. Oh man, there is SO MUCH MORE I want to write about, but I gotta wrap it up here and get to the photo gallery. I’m not going to caption any of these photos, but they’re fairly self explanatory.
For way too many more photos, visit my Greystone Flickr Set.
Disclaimer: If any information on this post is incorrect, if you have more info or would otherwise like to tell me something, feel free to contact me.