How many had been subjected to primitive, often barbaric treatments like electroshock and lobotomization, both of which were employed at Rockland as “state-of-the-art”?And man did it set the mood when I climbed up on this heavily gated porch and peered through a window into a shadowy room…Rockland Psych is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited in New York, if for no better reason than it set my imagination firing like crazy.Though the buildings may be boarded up, the place is heavy with history, and you can feel it in the air.…and saw this on a chalk board: Please don’t think I’m giving this property a hard time – the architecture is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s only the disrepair and neglect that gives it that haunting feeling. It seems that Orangeburg has basically agreed to tear a massive amount of it down in favor of senior citizen condos……made me feel I should be driving an old jalopy to pick up my buddy Norman Bates from his weekly session.Very few places I’ve been to have offered such an all-encompassing out-of-time experience as simply driving down this long, snow-covered road past boarded up buildings: I couldn’t stop thinking of questions: how many thousands of patients had passed through Rockland Psych during its operation?I gotta admit, when I see a pair of worn iron gates…
Visiting Rockland Psych is also like taking a trip back in time, as so wonderfully little has changed.
Even little details, like these awesome street lights…
What I didn’t realize is that these gates surround a massive, 600 acre insane asylum from the 1920’s – and nearly all of it abandoned.
This is the Rockland County Psychiatric Center, built in 1927, and “sprawling” does not do it justice.
Here’s the facility in its heyday, and yes, that’s its own power plant in the distance: At its peak year in 1959, Rockland Psychiatric had 9,000 residents and a staff of 2,000.