Monday, September 15, 2008

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

I visited Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

Not for treatment, but to take photographs. A friend told me about an abandoned loony bin, so we set a day and went on an adventure. After a nice drive, we found the area where we thought the hospital was located. We spotted an old map and followed it's directions until finally, we were there.

We had read about an underground tunnel, but we decided not to go inside. Personally, I was perfectly content with looking through the windows. That felt eerie enough.

After coming home and uploading my photographs, I received quite a few messages about my shots. Mark from Weird NJ had contacted me, inquiring about using some of the photographs on Weird NJ's website and publishing some in their magazine. Also, a very talented photographer named Christina Tullo contacted me and told me some of her Greystone stories.

I'm not necessarily ready to join the world of urban exploration, but I really enjoyed this shoot. That was, until we had to have our pictures taken and were forced to leave the grounds by police officers.

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital

One of the more infamous asylums in New Jersey lore is Greystone Psychiatric Park, located in Morris Plains. First conceived in1871 and known as The New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Morristown, the institution first opened its doors (to a mere 292 patients) on August 17, 1876.

In its day, Greystone was a landmark in progressivism. Designed by Thomas Kirkbride, the hospital advocated uncrowded conditions, fresh air, and the notion that mental patients were curable people.

One of the more famous aspects of Greystone is its notorious network of underground tunnels and rails. This system led to Greystone being built on one huge foundation --it was actually the largest continuous foundation in the United States until the Pentagon was constructed. Being that the hospital sits on over 670 acres of land, this rail system served to unite the entire complex as one contained unit.


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