A guerrilla historian in Gotham
KING'S PARK PSYCHIATRIC CENTER
Founded in 1885, King's Park Psychiatric Center is perhaps the largest of the many now-abandoned state-funded asylums in New York and New England. By the early 1950s, it housed nearly 10,000 patients plus staff on its 800-acre campus in King's Park, Long Island. Due to funding issues and changing attitudes toward institutionalization, it was slowly decommisioned starting in 1955, and was completely abandoned in 1996. A few buildings on the sprawling campus are now being re-used by the NYS Parks Department and other organizations, but the majority of the buildings on the huge campus are slowly decomposing.
There are several very excellent web pages on this magnificent derelict institution. One of the best is at http://s.albalux.com/webpage/, featuring both photographs and low-res video; I particularly like the excellent one-page history.
Due to heavy vandalism and the large numbers of thrill-seekers like myself who have entered, many of the buildings are now very tightly secured, and the private security force that patrols the campus is highly attuned to trespassers trying to get into buildings. If you do get in, however, there is a magnificent system of tunnels that gives you access to the many far-flung buildings without ever going aboveground.
the largest building on the campus. The narrow wings and multitude
of windows are reminders that this was built before flourescent lights
made building interiors independant of natural light.
the last patients in the institution didn't leave until 1996,
some buildings have been abandoned much longer. Here, a floor
of building #93 shows a thick growth of moss.
tree roots crawling in through a ground-floor window.