Kirkbride Buildings Blog

Archive for the 'Demolition' Category

May 13: Preserve Greystone Court Hearing

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

The New Jersey State Hospital

On Wednesday, May 13th, Preserve Greystone will be making their case in court for halting demolition of the Greystone Kirkbride. This may be the last chance for stopping the ongoing destruction of this historic building. If you live within driving distance and can get the time off from work/school/whatever, please attend the hearing to show support for preserving the Kirkbride. The more people attending the hearing, the better.

The hearing will be located at 56 Washington Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. Preserve Greystone will have volunteers available to direct you to the correct courtroom. Metered street parking is available. The closest parking garage is the John D. Dalton Parking Garage at the corner of Catano Avenue and Washington Street.

Supporters can gather at 2 p.m. on the The Green in Morristown to get “Preserve Greystone” buttons to wear to the hearing. More details can be found on their facebook page.

Greystone Developments April 2015

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Greystone Park Kirkbride Building

Abatement of the Greystone Kirkbride in New Jersey appears to be nearing completion, and actual demolition could begin as early as this month. Preserve Greystone is planning a rally at the Kirkbride on Sunday, April 12th. More information is available at the #Rally4Greystone event page on Facebook. Please attend the rally if you can. It’s important to show strong support for preserving the building. Even though the demolition process is in motion, Preserve Greystone is still fighting to halt it, and they can use all the support they can get from like-minded preservationists.

On April 3rd, the New York Times published an article on this story: Preservationists Fight to Save a Former Asylum in New Jersey. It’s fantastic such a widely-read media outlet wrote about what’s going on. I hope it makes a difference in Greystone’s fate, but also that it contributes to more consideration being given to saving other Kirkbride buildings.

Preserve Greystone has posted an appeal on Facebook for all parties interested in saving the Kirkbride. I’ve reproduced the text of that post below. Please attend the Freeholder meeting if possible. And please at the very least sign the online petition.

Two ways to voice your opinions in person or through petition to the County. Either attend this week’s Freeholder’s Meeting along with members of Preserve Greystone’s board, or sign our online petition. Please, mail and/or scan and email any physical petitions you may have in your possession that have not been sent to Preserve Greystone.

Freeholder’s Meeting Details
When: Wednesday, April 8, 2015, 7:30pm
Where: Administration & Records Building
Court Street, Morristown 07960
We will be presenting the physical petition and all the online signatures and stories from the online petition at this meeting.

Parts of Bryce Hospital Kirkbride Being Demolished

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Bryce Hospital Kirkbride

I knew something like this was coming, but that doesn’t make me any less sad and disappointed. Parts of the historic Bryce Hospital Kirkbride building are now being demolished. You can read all about it on Part of Former Bryce Hospital Being Demolished

Bryce Wing to be Demolished

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Bryce Hospital Kirkbride

I had been hoping that when the University of Alabama took over the Bryce Hospital campus that they would preserve the entire Kirkbride building there. Unfortunately, they’re planning on tearing down at least one wing to make room for a new performing arts center. Read more about it here: University of Alabama to Build New State of the Art Performing Arts Center on Bryce Hospital Grounds

This news is especially depressing, coming as it does on the heels of the news that New Jersey is moving forward with demolishing the Greystone Kirkbride. Speaking of Greystone, please still consider supporting Preserve Greystone’s continuing efforts to save Greystone. While the Kirkbride is still standing, there is hope it can be saved. And if I learn of any ways to help prevent Bryce’s wing from being torn down, I will post about them here and on Facebook.

Preserve Greystone Petition

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Greystone State Hospital Kirkbride Building

Preserve Greystone has started an online petition calling for the preservation of the Greystone Kirkbride building in New Jersey. Please sign the petition to show your support for saving this historical and monumental building.

Sign the Petition »

I know online petitions aren’t as effective as contacting New Jersey’s Governor and Treasurer directly by writing letters or through some other medium—please do that too—but signing the petition will still help build support for the building and it will only take a minute of your time.

Thank you.

New Jersey to Demolish Greystone Kirkbride

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Greystone Park Kirkrbide Building

It’s been announced in the press that New Jersey plans to demolish the historic Greystone Kirkbride in spite of receiving six respectable proposals for redevelopment. According to the state, all six proposals left a “funding gap” of $11 million to $25 million. Since the state is unwilling to spend any money on redevelopment, they claim the proposals aren’t viable.

However, at least two organizations who submitted proposals argue they would not require any assistance: Green Center Acres and Auto Mart, Inc. (the company behind the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV).

The process of demolition could begin as early as spring 2014.

Preserve Greystone is vowing to fight the state’s decision. Right now, I’m not sure exactly what people should do to help them. I’ve asked them for the latest information and I’m still waiting to hear back. For the time being, you can like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and check out their existing suggestions at If I find out anything new, I’ll post about it.

Another option I highly recommend (especially for New Jersey residents) is to call or write to both the Governor and Treasurer and let them know the Kirkbride should be saved.

NJ Governor Chris Christie

Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

NJ Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff

Department of the Treasury
P. O. Box 002
Trenton, NJ 08625-0002

Learn more about this story by following the links below.

Help Save the Athens Kirkbride

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Plans for Athens Kirkbride

Please help the Athens County Historical Society and Museum save the Athens Kirkbride by signing this online petition.

Ohio University (current owner of the former Athens State Hospital site now known as The Ridges) is set to tear down an historic building at the site next month. Read more about it here: Ridges TB Ward to Be Razed Next Month Despite Historical Society Efforts to Save It. Although the structure being demolished isn’t the Kirkbride, the article also mentions the university’s plans to tear down most of the Kirkbride building’s wings in the future. See this diagram for what will be destroyed: Plans for The Ridges.

The Athens County Historical Society and Museum is trying to get the school to preserve the remaining buildings at The Ridges, including the Kirkbride. To help them, please sign the online petition. Also please consider contacting the university’s president and board of trustees directly.

Sign the Petition

Restore and Maintain Athens Asylum Buildings for Posterity »

Contact the President and Board of Trustees

Ohio University Office of President (contact info at bottom of page)

Ohio University  Board of Trustees (contact info at bottom of page)

Fergus Falls City Council Calls for Demolition Plans

Monday, May 7th, 2012

At the May 7th Fergus Falls City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously in favor of drawing up demolition plans for most of the city’s beautiful, 100+ year-old Kirkbride building. The central administration section will probably be preserved, but the wings will be destroyed under the proposed plan. This vote came in spite of a substantial showing of public support for full preservation. According to the Fergus Falls Journal, about 200 people showed up for the meeting and the council chamber was filled to overflowing.

So yet another Kirkbride is likely fated to become to a mere fragment of its former self. Such a shame that something couldn’t be done to save it. It is some consolation that at least a part of the structure would be saved. Hopefully that at least will happen. In my opinion, it’s really the wings that are the most beautiful part of the Fergus Falls Kirkbride though, at least in terms of the building’s exterior.

Save the Fergus Falls Kirkbride

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Fergus Falls RTC Kirkbride BuildingThere’s been a flurry of activity regarding Fergus Falls lately. If you haven’t heard, things aren’t looking for preservation. The Fergus Falls City Council rejected the only submitted reuse plan, and has started discussing demolition.

If you live in Fergus Falls and want the building saved, please attend the city council meeting on Monday, May 7th at 5:30PM to show support for preservation. The meeting will be taking place at Fergus Falls City Hall.

There’s also an online petition you can sign to show your support, even if you don’t live in Fergus Falls. Please take a minute to sign it. I know online petitions aren’t the most useful thing in the world, but signing one can’t hurt, and it might do some good. (Note that after signing, you’ll get an email with a request for a $5 donation. That donation is for the petition site, NOT for saving the Kirkbride.)

Worcester Clocktower Update

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Worcester State Hospital ClocktowerLooks like Massachusetts is planning to proceed with demolition of the entire Worcester State Hospital admin (including the clock tower), and construction of a replica clock tower using material from the original building. See this official report dated Friday, January 20, 2012. It’s a lengthy, wordy document which is painful to read in some respects, but the overall gist is their intent is to completely raze the admin and build a clock tower replica. They acknowledge strong community support for preservation, but say the cost is just too high.

While destruction of the clocktower is tragic and more should have been done to save it, there’s some small comfort in the fact that part of the reason this is happening is because of the new hospital building being built nearby. The advancement of care for the mentally ill should always trump preservation and memorialization, no matter how important the latter two are. While I don’t think that fully excuses the state from responsibility for this tragedy, it’s at least something of a silver lining.