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Kings Park Psychiatric Center, Kings Park, New York

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kings_park_psychiatric_centerNamed “Kings County Asylum” for the first ten years after opening in 1885, the Kings Park Psychiatric Center was revolutionary in its treatment of psychiatric patients. Kings Park created a “Farm Colony” asylum where patients worked in a variety of farm-related activities (feeding livestock and growing food, for example).

Due to overcrowding, New York took control of Kings Park in 1895, and eventually developed the facility into the self-sufficient community.

By the late 1930s, Kings Park grew “upward” like most of New York, constructing the infamous 13-story Building 93. The building, completed in 1939, was described as “the most famous asylum building on Long Island” and used to treat geriatric as well as chronically ill patients.

The Hospital’s census grew after World War II, topping 9,303 in 1954. At that time, the “rest and relaxation” approach transitioned to  pre-frontal lobotomies and electro-shock therapy, and eventually Thorazine after 1955.

Medication replaced wide-spread institutionalization of the mentally ill. and the patient population at Kings Park declined.

In the early 1990s, the New York State Office of Mental Health started plans to close the Hospital. Kings Park closed in the fall of 1996, ending its 111-year history. In November 2010, the estimated cost of demolishing the buildings making up Kings Park was $215 million.

Photographs from Opacity.

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Posted: September 22, 2014

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Category: All, Lost Hospitals, New York

+1 Comment
  1. Lisa Marie says:

    Where can i go to obtain approval to do a photo shoot here?

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