Posts with the label Morris Plains
Showing posts with label Morris Plains. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morris Plains. Show all posts

March 16, 2015

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital | Morris Plains, New Jersey

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
The Kirkbride Building, Greystone Park (March 2015)

Greystone Park

 

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital was originally built in 1876 as the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Morristown. 

 

Obviously there was no “political correctness” at the time. 


State Insane Asylum, Morris Plains, NJ (Public domain photo from Wikipedia)
State Insane Asylum, Morris Plains, NJ (Public domain photo from Wikipedia)

If you grew up in Morris County, the original Greystone Park was legendary. It was so big looming up at the end of Central Avenue.

 

It was actually the building with the largest footprint in America until The Pentagon was opened in 1943. 

 

There were also rumors about horrible events that actually went on in the building. It was also incredibly overcrowded.

 

Probably the most famous resident was the great singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie. He spent 5 years at Greystone Park.

 

Woody was suffering from Huntington's Disease, and little was understood about the illness. Sadly, he was sent to live in psychiatric hospitals for most of the last years of his life.

 

Here he is singing probably his most famous song, the beautiful "This Land Is Your Land."





The young Bob Dylan idolized Guthrie and visited him at Greystone! 

 

He sang his song "Song to Woody" for him when he visited. 

 

So touching, and how courageous of Bob to visit him there.




The original building at Greystone is still located in Morris Plains/Parsippany, New Jersey (GPS and other places give either of the towns). 

 

A new hospital was built several years ago, and the patients transferred to the new facility.


Greystone Park
The new Greystone Park Hospital sign (March 2015)
Greystone Park
The new Greystone Park Hospital building (March 2015)
 

Some of the old structures have been torn down, but the original main building – the Kirkbride Building -- is still standing.

 

There is now fencing around the building to get it ready for demolition (and probably to discourage intruders from breaking into the building).

 

The building was supposed to be demolished last year, but a group called Preserve Greystone is fighting to save the building. 

 

The building is architecturally significant. It was built in the Second Empire Victorian style. 

 

Now I can understand why the state wants to tear down the building. It was used for rather sad reasons. I also understand that you can't save every historic building.

 

You can read the Final Feasibility Assessment report here

 

However, I do believe that we don't save nearly enough architecturally significant buildings, in New Jersey or the entire USA. 

 

The building was quite beautiful inside, and has not deteriorated so badly that it can't be restored. They certainly don't make hospitals this beautiful anymore!

 

Apparently, Woody Guthrie's daughter wants to save the building.

 

Preserve Greystone makes some very good points about the historic value of the building. Some of those reasons are truly haunting. In this magnificent video, there are some stunning aerial shots of the hospital, including some by a drone!


Greystone Park
Kirkbride Building, Greystone (March 2015)

Greystone Park
Kirkbride Building, Greystone (March 2015)

Greystone Park
Kirkbride Building, Greystone (March 2015)

There are some truly haunting photos of the inside of the building here and here.

 

UPDATES 2022:


The buildings have been torn down. 

 

You may also want to read about Port Murray Post Office and Abandoned Train Station. 


Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

 

Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital | Morris Plains, New Jersey

March 16, 2015

May 01, 2012

Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms | Morris Plains, New Jersey

Stickley Museum


Gustav Stickley was a key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement

 

He designed furniture and buildings in that style. 

 

He launched The Craftsman Magazine, and had a profound influence on furniture and architecture. He produced "Craftsman" furniture, also known as mission-style.

 
He established his home in Morris Plains, New Jersey (now part of Parsippany). 

 

At first, the main buildings was meant to be used for a school, but it was eventually used for his family, calling the estate Craftsman Farms.

Stickley eventually went bankrupt, and his farm was sold. The farm was originally over 600 acres, but 30 acres have been preserved to set up a Stickley Museum.

The grounds are open year-round for visitors free of charge. 

 

If you want to visit the "log house", which I heartily recommend at least once, there is a fee, but the guided tour is in-depth and wonderful.

You can read more about Stickley and Craftsman farms on the beautifully designed website The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

 

On this site you can read detailed accounts of Stickley's life and the history of Craftsman Farms.

You can also see some indoor photos of the log house (I couldn't take those photos, since you need prior permission, and it was also rather dark inside).


Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms


You may also want to check out some interesting exhibits at my post on The Montclair Art Museum.

 

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms | Morris Plains, New Jersey

May 01, 2012