Greystone Park State Hospital

Preservation Alert
New Jersey to Demolish Greystone Kirkbride in Spring 2014

Construction of the Lunatic Asylum at Morristown Kirkbride building began in 1871. It was built to relieve overcrowding at the asylum in Trenton (site of the first Kirkbride incidentally) and began taking patients in 1876. Samuel Sloan was the architect.

This immense edifice sits on a nearly one square mile campus among expansive grounds and many other buildings from different eras. Several modifications to the Kirkbride were made over the years; most notable are the removal of several cupolas, renovation of the fourth-floor, and the removal of the administration attic and rebuilding of the central dome after a fire. These changes left the building very squared off and austere looking, adding to its aura of imposing bulk.

The history of the hospital runs along familiar lines: an early reputation for good care was later marred by severe overcrowding and instances of abuse. The advent of de-institutionalization helped diminish the problems, but also led to the eventual shuttering of older buildings, including the Kirkbride. The state recently moved to sell the abandoned parts of the hospital campus, but a group of area residents and officials is blocking this citing laws that require the land to be used for recreation, farmland, and historic preservation. You can learn more about this group's efforts at their web site:

Other names for this hospital:

  • State Asylum for the Insane at Morristown
  • New Jersey State Hospital, Morris Plains
  • Morris Plains State Hospital
  • Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital


Forum Topics

Demolition ALERT!
Not good news.State planning to tear down historic main building at old Greystone ...
Greystone Preservation Task Force Established
A task force charged with working out a viable preservation plan for the Greystone Park Kirkbride has been...
Help Preserve Greystone
This is a “reprinting” of an email message from Preserve Greystone, the group dedicated to saving the Greystone Park Kirkbride building.“On Thursday, March 25, the statewide...

Blog Posts

Preserve Greystone Town Hall Meeting
Preserve Greystone is holding a town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 1 at 7:00PM. The meeting will be held at Morristown Town Hall, Senior Center, 3rd Floor in Morristown,...
Preserve Greystone Petition
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...
New Jersey to Demolish Greystone Kirkbride
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....