Welcome to the Hudson River State Hospital located in the United States in Poughkeepsie, New York. This gigantic hospital has overlooked the Hudson River for 136 years since its initial construction in 1871. The various hospital buildings were constructed and belong to the famous Kirkbride architectural order (read more on this excellent website).
The hospital was divided into two wings, for male and female patients, with an administration section located in the center. The male wing was much larger than the respective female wing. This was caused by the number of patients being unequal between the sexes (see the sky view from the hospital using the link above).
The beauty of the decay was unbelievable in this hospital. Most of the original constructions had been preserved.
Future renovation construction of the hospital were planned long ago. A fire, caused by lightning, burned the male wing in June 2007. As of the date of this article, the fate of Hudson Psyche Center remains unknown.
Hopefully this awesome Kirkbride will be saved. The United States is certainly not Europe and listing historical buildings as monuments might not be enough to protect them…
Archive documents dated between 1891 and 1918 (click on a thumbnail to enlarge):
Special thanks to Dr. Bob for sharing the old postcards.
Reference for the scanned documents: Handbook of the State Hospital Commission and the Hospitals for the Insane, 1918, E.S.Graney.
"Hudson River State Hospital" is a new book coming out in August 2018. It can be pre-ordered from Amazon or B&N.
Also: Anyone looking for information regarding former patients has to request information from the state. (They will only confirm admission dates) Person needs to present a letter of request and ID to confirm relationship to the patient.
Where can I get information on Beatrice Thune who was a resident in 1935
Would like info on my grandmother who was at facility from the 30's to 50's when she past away. Estelle Hattenbach born 1890's. Let me know either way. Thank you. Eileen Healey Schmidt
What buildings are being used right now? Where do you usually see security?
Hi, I am looking for some cool people to explore with. I would like to go early on a Saturday morning and explore all day. If you are not too far out, I may be able to provide transportation. Please email me at email@example.com.
Can't believe they're tearing his place down. Used to wander this place for hours all throughout high school. It's been a few weeks since I've been there. Does anyone have any update on the construction or security patrolling??
My mother worked there in the 50s , she was a nurse and my father also worked there at the same time as a cook. I remember going with my mother to see my father on his break while he was on duty. He would also take us to see my mother on her break when she was on duty. It was such a beautiful place and at that young age I felt no matter how difficult some of the patatients at least they had a home. It was like a well organized community it seems from what my parents told me. In all fairness some of the staff at that time were very Cruel! On an interesting note though, my mother had taken care of George Montgomery'so mother, he was the famous movie actor.d
I actually leave 3 miles away from it and have never been there. Would love to get pictures but wonder if I would get stopped.
Has anyone ventured here in the morning on a weekday recently? Trying to get an idea of what kind of security/construction might be going on at these hours. Thinking about heading up there today, but don't want to make the trip just to get turned around by people watching the property. Thanks for any insight!
Carolanne I went yesterday around 5:30pm and there was absolutely nobody there except a couple other groups exploring. Your best bet is to go on the weekend,you shouldn't run into any security or anything on the grounds. If you enter through the woods at Home Depot the tall Cheney building will be right in front of you,that's the one I explored yesterday. It's friggin huge just so you know,I did only 3 floors and still didn't get through even half of the building. I'm going again next weekend
What buildings are currently being used? How do I explore without running into security? Any information would be very helpful. Thank you!!
Hey guys, I have tried to go here before and I was immediately stopped by security because I went in by where the security is in the building that's being used. I have seen comments that say to enter through the woods from the Home Depot lot, but from there where do I go? I would really appreciate anyone helping me get in! I love exploring abandoned places and really want to take some pictures with my friend. Please let me know!! Thank you so much
I had the opportunity to visit last week while in town on business. By chance, I was out and about early for work and one of the makeshift front gates was open so I went in. I went all the way to the top and started around the back and drove by some construction workers. One of them promptly followed me because he said he thought I was another contractor he was waiting for (my work vehicle is a truck). Anyway, he was very nice and asked if I was lost to which I replied I was, and I'm sure the out of state plates helped. Long story short, I left but did some quick research on my phone and found another way in. I went into an additional parking lot behind a church in the SE corner of the hospital property. Maybe not the best idea but it was the middle of the day and week, plus raining out, so I thought I was safe.
I did get on the property without a problem but didn't stay too long because I didn't want to get in trouble, and don't know how much security is around. I was able to access several buildings and get some pretty good photos. For self-preservation, I didn't wander too far from where i came in because the workers had already saw me. I think the best place to enter would be somewhere by Home Depot, but that's just my guess. As another person said, I am sure if you are wandering around with a camera and don't have any spray paint or other destructive material that security probably wouldn't hassle and/or arrest you. But, there are PLENTY of signs letting you know you are on private property, and all the old entrances are gated and locked. Go in and leave no trace and you'll probably be fine.
Expanding on what Arim164 said. All the roads were closed off heavily, and a new section appeared to have been condemned on the eastern roads leading to the old Kirkbride. I drove along there and almost ran into a security vehicle, and then a gate was open for about ten minutes, then closed by the time I turned around. The site is clearly very active now and exploring it is probably no longer feasible. Sucks because I'd never been and really wanted to see it before it's all gone.
I just visited there today, I went to the entrance next to Home Depot. From the gate I could there were several trucks and trailers. The kind of trailers that are used to carry construction equipment and what not. I believe they are beginning demolition.
Anyone in albany area wanna make trek before shes gone?
I tell you, I am not a fraud, you're just going to have to take my word for it, or not! I just remember that in the back of the Hillcrest building was an empty field with a line of trees that went up to the high way. If you turned right on that high way, it was a short walk to the bowling alley. I'm sure that if you research it, you will find that there was a bowling alley there. If you got the first publishing of my book, I had changed Abbie's name to Annie as she had requested I keep her anonymous until her demise. I am still in touch with Enid's children, that was the nurse who did the picnic dinner with me in the quiet room. I am sorry you got mad at me, I pray God will open your heart and your eyes and give you peace.
More news on development..
For any who are interested. This is likely the beginning of the end of HRSH. www.poughkeepsiejournal.com
The museum of Hudson River State Hospital is now open. It is located at 12 Cheney Drive, Poughkeepsie, New York. There are six rooms filled with artifacts, pictures and information regarding the treatments and modalities at the hospital. Tours are scheduled by appointment. 845-471-2765. Please leave a message and someone will return your call.
There was a body found the property..
I was just wondering if anyone knew if they had started demolitions on the property i wanted to take one last visit over before that happens.
Is there any pictures of the fire house. Found a picture of a fire truck. That was it.
Yes, there was a complete fire house on the property. It was located behind the Main building along with the plant facility building, blacksmith shop and carpenter and machine shop. I just posted a couple of pictures of some of the remaining items from the Firehouse that are in the HRSH museum onto the "Hudson River State Hospital Nursing School" Face book page. I don't have any pictures of the firehouse itself, but there are probably pictures at the museum. (It's hard to see exactly what is in the pictures taken at the museum, but it looks like there is information in a book on the shelf where the fireman hat is.)
Did the hospital have its own fire department. Is there any pictures of it. Been looking came across a fire helmet. That was it..
I've pretty much settled the Hillcrest thing but I see everyone is sort of ignoring the fact that Wardy and Kathy H. (author of 'Turning 15 in the Loony Bin') are both claiming to know an alternative Hillcrest that was demolished in the 50s. I'm angry because I bought the book and read a description of her journey up to Hillcrest and then to have the two of them on here trying to tell me that Hillcrest is to the north of the main building and it's a short walk (when that's the end of the property and the real Hillcrest is to the east and up the hill). I'm not gonna try and open up an old argument but I'm angry because I think Kathy is a fraud.
led-zep - I did not mean to insult you. Sorry, I misread your statement. I was just trying to help, more than to correct.
Sandra Filler: Would you please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I have a question that our HRSH Alumni Association has been searching for an answer to, but I would rather not post it here. You may just be the person who can fill in the answer. Your help would really be appreciated. Thank you.
The opening statement, titled "Kirkbride Building" has a slight error. Actually, the male patients were housed in the smaller section. If you're looking at the front of the Main Building, (which is another name it was known as) the wing to the left was known as North Wing for male patients and the much larger wing to the right of the Main building was for female patients, known as South Wing. I worked in that building from 1959-1971 as a Therapy Aide. I then transferred to the new Herman B. Snow Building (Rehab. Building) and worked as a building attendant along with one other person. Our job was to make sure patients ( name later changed to clients) were directed to their Rehab programs. We were also responsible for reporting any incidents, giving tours to people such as other hospitals coming to see the latest thing in Rehabilitation styles, the G.R.O.W. Workshops, (which I obtained a job as Rehab. Asst. II) where the clients worked for pay at different jobs for companies from the community, such as I.B.M., Western Publishing, Eastern Lithographic, Schatz Manufacturing, etc. Also we showed dignitaries from Albany, NYC, Washington DC, and other states who came to see this building. A building called Pilgrim Hall ( housed clients was demolished to build the Snow Rehab Building. It had everything to recreate, relax and or learn there, a pool, gym, bowling alley, auditorium with stage and the ability to show movies. It had a library, class rooms for obtaining a G.E.D., Art classes, etc.. The recreation dept. was based there and had programs going on at all times. There was a community store & cafeteria for all to shop or eat there if they wanted to. Night activities for the clients were done there too, such as dart ball, dances, band practice for those who played an instrument, birthday parties and much more. The Rehab employees were like a family and helped each other make a very cheery and upbeat atmosphere for the clients. I worked there from 1971 to 1995 when I retired as a workshop supervisor after 36 1/2 years. I never regretted going to work there from high school. I felt I had made a difference in the clients life for the better. I also worked with some of the most dedicated people that kept the clients interest at the forefront of their jobs. I am saddened to see the grounds going to ruin and do hope before to many years go by that something is done to restore some of the buildings. I enjoy reading about HRPC and am glad there is continued interest in the hospitals history.
I know the Cheney building opened in the 50's.I was saying that i use to visit my great aunt in the Cheney building back in the 70's.Maybe you to need to understand what i wrote before correcting me ,I wasn't saying she was their in the 20's or 30's thats when she was put in their JEANNE!
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