November 6th, 2011
As I may have mentioned before, one of the reasons I don’t blog much anymore is because so often the fate of abandoned Kirkbride buildings is murky for years on end. I’m tired of trying to think up new ways to say “whether the building will be saved is unclear, but things sound hopeful…” Regardless, I thought it worth noting that New Jersey’s Governor Christie has announced a $27 million plan to clean up the former Greystone Park State Hospital site. The plan calls for demolition of many buildings, but also “calls for determining the feasibility of redeveloping the historic Kirkbride Building” according to an article by New Jersey News Room: Gov. Christie Announces Greystone Psychiatric Hospital Demolition for Open Space.
I’m sure $27 million — even if it was entirely for the Kirkbride — won’t go very far in breathing new life into the Greystone Kirkbride. Most of the money will go toward demolishing other buildings and converting the property into open space parkland. But at least wheels are turning in regards to the Kirkbride’s preservation. Hopefully the feasibility study isn’t just a token gesture. It would be great if the building could remain as a point of architectural interest within all that open space. It’d be even better if it could be restored to its former grandeur, but that’s very unlikely I’m sure.
Thought I’d also mention a minor bit of trivia I learned while reading about this: according to an Associated Press article, President Ulysses S. Grant spoke at the opening of Greystone Park.