Greystone Park State Hospital

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. In 2015, the state demolished the building. Although several organizations proposed plans for reusing it, the state claimed none of the plans were viable. The citizen's group Preserve Greystone fought valiantly to save the Kirkbride, but were sadly unsuccessful.

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


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