A Video Tour of Poughkeepsie’s Abandoned Insane Asylum
In 1871, The Hudson River State Hospital became New York State’s second insane asylum. Located on Route 9, across from Marist College, the hospital was created to usher in a new era of treating the mentally ill. The Victorian buildings, rolling landscapes and beautiful surroundings of the Hudson Valley were all supposed to be a part of the treatment. A beautiful and scenic retreat, it was thought, would help clear one’s mind and aid in curing their insanity.
During its heyday in the 1950s the Hudson River Psychiatric Center was treating upwards of 6,000 patients and employing hundreds of doctors and nurses. As techniques and ideas about the treatment of the mentally ill changed in the 1970s, so did the need for places like the Psych Center. The hospital became a National Historic Landmark in 1989, but that still couldn’t stop it from slowly becoming obsolete. In 1994 the hospital joined with Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center and then eventually closed it’s doors in 2003.
Taking a rare tour inside the abandoned buildings is like stepping back in time:
The Morgue and Lab:
The Activity Center in the Cheney Building:
Here’s a playlist of even more videos: