Photo: "Nothing But A Memory"


If you follow my photography or blog, you’ve likely heard how devastated I am that this beautiful, former asylum has met its demise. When I took this photo, I was standing in a corridor that is now merely a memory. 

People often ask me why I shoot these locations and this building right here is a perfect example why. I first photographed this hospital 6 years ago and I returned last year for a second time. Here we are one year later and nothing remains but a small center section of the building. These places are vanishing rapidly and I want to be there to document as many historic sites as I can. 

Photo: "Greystone Psychiatric Power Plant"

Kirkbride asylums were constructed to be self-sufficient and most campuses contained a dairy and agricultural farm, a post office, recreational facilities, water utilities and a power plant. Greystone Park Psychiatic Hospital was no exception.

This power station generated power for the entire campus, which included the main Kirbride building, which was designed to house 450 patients, nurses quarters and all other ancillary buildings. 

(3 image pano stitched vertically, shot with Canon 17mm TS-E)

Photo: "Through the Eyes of a Patient"

Many patients admitted to psychiatric facilities in the late 1800's and early 1900's did not actually need mental health care. Many patients exhibited symptoms of laziness, hysteria, religious enthusiasm or other health conditions, such as menopause, leading doctors to believe the patients were mentally ill.

Once admitted, the patients would be placed in a single or double room, with one or two beds and a single window through which they would gaze upon the world. Most of us can't even begin to imagine how devastatingly lonely that would feel.

Photo: "Not Always Good Memories, But Always Significant"

Female violent ward in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital - Morris Plains, New Jersey

People often ask me what draws me to places like this, but the answer is not always obvious to most. Sure people understand that I find beauty in decaying asylums, factories, ships and houses of worship, because let's be honest, they just don't make them like they used to, but the real reason is much less superficial. 

I do this for me because it makes me feel alive and it's what I want to contribute to this world, images of historic places that we are tearing down way too quickly. But I also do it for the dozens of grandparents, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, cousins and friends who knew someone who was cared for or worked in one of these locations. During the time that these asylums, for example, were in operation, very little was known about mental health. People who were lazy, or practicing religion to frequently were admitted into an asylum. Even women experiencing menopause were deemed insane and placed inside these facilities. 

When I receive an email from a women who never knew her Grandmother because she was admitted to Greystone Park Psychiatric asylum in 1918, or a note from a son about how his father was stationed on the USNS Northern Light many decades ago, I am quickly reminded that this is why I photograph these places. It's not for money, status, likes or +1's, it's for the memories that remain inside these walls, the stories eagerly hoping to come back to life. 

Photo: "Filtered Sunlight"


Patient rooms, such as this, inside the former Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey were designed to hold one or two patients, but within about 10 years of opening, the hospital experienced severe overcrowding and was treating almost double the patients it was designed to treat. Patients were crammed to these small rooms and beds were added and moved into the hallways. 

Photo: "Male Violent Wards II"


Tech: Canon 5D Mark III + 17 TS-E. Edited using Lightroom and DxO FilmPack 3


The Greystone Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey opened its doors to the first patients in 1877 and 342 patients were immediately submitted. 

The main building at Greystone was built following the Kirkbride plan and contained two wings, one for each sex. The violent wards, shown here, are at the end of the second floor of the male wing.


Photo: Female Violent Ward Collapse

Female violent wards, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital - New Jersey

When the outer wings of Greystone Park Psychiatric closed in the 1970's, a plan to protect the roof was never implemented and after experiencing many years of extreme East Coast weather, the decay has become dangerous.

The hospital completely shut down in 2008 after a new hospital was constructed behind the original campus. Sadly, this beautiful historic stone building is slated for demolition later this year.

Photo: "Little Boxes"


Storage closet in the female wards at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey.

Over the last few decades much of this hospital has been collapsing due to weather and lack of upkeep. The Administration section of the asylum was the most recently abandoned portion, vacated less than 10 years ago, due to the construction of a new Greystone behind the current decaying building.

Unfortunately, this building is in danger of demolition and will likely be nothing more than a piece of forgotten history by the end of 2014.


Photo: "Violent Ward Doors"


Female violent wards at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, NJ.


The Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital completely shut down a few years ago, but many of the outer portions of the wings, such as the female violent wards, have been in-operational since the 1970's.

Sadly, this hospital is currently on the list for demolition and is scheduled to be torn down sometime this year.

(Follow the 'Preserve Greystone' Facebook Page to stay updated  - )

Photo: "Memories of Four"


Painting in the female violent ward


Four years ago, I had the opportunity to shoot the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey. I spent a mere few hours wandering the halls, feeling incredible rushed and unable to cure the longing in my heart for seeing the whole complex and spending countless minutes staring and photographing every detail of the asylum. 

When I returned home from that trip, I discovered about 30 of the less than 100 images I had taken, were missing off the memory card; I was devastated. 

Earlier this month, I had a chance to return and the asylum was as glorious as I remembered. Unfortunately, there is a lot more graffiti and destruction from the people who have set foot inside the walls since, but the natural decay was just as beautiful as I remembered. 

I saw this painting, in the female violent ward, four years ago. It was one of the images I lost and when I stumbled upon it again, I remembered exactly how it felt to stand in front of it and take a photo years ago.