2017 update: Currently, Hudson is in early stages of redevelopment. The plan is to turn the property into residential and commercial use. Most buildings will be demolished, but a few, including the historic kirkbride, will supposedly be saved. I say supposedly, because I’ve heard developers make such claims before, only to renege. Also, a series of recent fires (arson suspected) have threatened the property.
Hudson River State Hospital is something of an urban exploring legend. It’s been abandoned for a little over a decade, during which time it became one of the most gratuitously photographed abandoned asylum in the states. Hudson is a polarizing topic in the exploring community (a community I remain purposefully removed from, with the exception of a small handful of people who don’t annoy me.) Many explorers get really snooty about Hudson, claiming it’s no longer fun to explore since it became so popular. That is the urban exploring equivalent of claiming you liked an indie band before they made it big. [Insert eye roll here]. I have no tolerance for that kind of frivolous condescension, so I kept exploring Hudson throughout the years. I’ve been there in all the seasons, at all times of day and night, and in all types of weather. I’ve photographed the ruins with both fancy and shitty cameras and cellphones, so the quality of these photos varies greatly. For the sake of an impending book, there won’t be much on the history of the asylum beyond the following, brief paragraph.
Hudson River State Hospital, located in Poughkeepsie, NY, was built in 1868, and closed in 2003. The administration building, which included male and female wards, was/is a kirkbride, a style of architecture designed specifically for asylums in the 1800’s, and is one of the few remaining kirkbrides today, but possibly not for long. Plans to demolish and partially renovate the grounds are underway right now. The kirkbride, while on the historical registry, is not safe from demolition, since it’s structurally unsound after experiencing a massive fire in 2007. (It will be incredibly sad if the current owners decide to demo it, considering it would come on the heels of the demolition of Greystone.) Hudson treated all kinds of mental illness, from infants and children to criminally insane. The campus, which is laid out over 296 acres, was a self sufficient community, containing dozens of buildings including a recreation center, church, a public service car wash (see the Rainbow Car Wash sweatshirt photo) workshops, morgue, theater, etc. Currently the land is being accessed for future use, so exploring it is not really an option anymore. It was fun while it lasted. RIP Hudson. I did the best I could to narrow down the photos posted here, got em down to about 90, but I have hundreds of photos on flickr.
Let’s start with exteriors of the kirkbride. Half of it is still in somewhat decent condition, half is severely fire damaged.
The interior of the kirkbride ranges from the structurally sound center and wing, to the completely fire damaged wing. I don’t have many photos of the in tact part, because zzzzz. Some of the bathroom and staircase shots are from the admin halls.
Crappy photo of the infamous patient toothbrushes. Some prankster refilled the cabinet with new tooth brushes, and a few of those photos are being circulated as the original ones, but the original ones are stamped New York State on the handle, and have patient’s names on labels on the other side, as seen above. They’re also disgusting.
The crates at the bottom are painted with the initials HVSH, which stood for Harlem Valley State Hospital, about a 40 minute car ride from Hudson. The two hospitals frequently traded patients and supplies.
Moving onto other buildings. Ryon Hall was a separate structure for the criminally insane. It’s pretty trashed inside, and not the photographic kind of trashed.
Brookside was the daycare for the worker’s children, and often incorrectly identified as the children’s ward. I made that mistake and a former employee of Hudson corrected me, stating that the real children’s ward was actually up the street and not on the main campus.
I was dicking around in the basement of Brookside when I discovered some patient shoes under a work bench. This lil’ snake was very protective of them.
the Cheney Building was a huge hospital that is absolute garbage inside. The few crappy photos I have of it aren’t worth posting on the site.
Similar, the Snow rec center is also trashed and not really photo worthy.
The morgue, which is situation in the middle of the campus, has been systematically cleared out and destroyed over the years.
I have some earlier photos of it that show these counters cleaner and full of unbroken laboratory glass, but I think I lost them in a computer malfunction. There are a few really good early ones out there, if you’re so inclined to look.
The powerhouse is pretty rad, although the main tunnels to it is perpetually flooded.
The theater, which might be saved from demolition.
The church, which is a small, stand alone structure.
There are a number of staff houses on the hospital grounds. One of the larger ones was destroyed by a fire, but you can still go inside, if that’s your thing.
Over near the river are some greenhouses, gazebos and a golf course.
I will be adding more photos to this gallery as I find them in my photo archives, but for now, you can see a few hundred more on the Hudson Flickr set. And I have two more posts in the words, a before and after of Hudson, and stuff I’ve found there.
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.