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No 'Logic' Behind NJ Taking Down Greystone Hospital, Video Claims

Preservationists continue fight to keep hospital's Kirkbride Building away from demolition.

Kirkbride Building at Greystone Psychiatric Hospital. Patch File Photo
Kirkbride Building at Greystone Psychiatric Hospital. Patch File Photo
The battle between preservationists and the state of New Jersey continues on as the organization trying to keep the historic Greystone Psychiatric Hospital is set to release a documentary on the subject.

In its movie trailer, which is posted above, Preserve Greystone trustee Adam McGovern explains independent investors have mentioned putting more than $100 million toward restoring and keeping the hospital standing, but the state has ignored the offers and continued on with its plans to demolish the famous Kirkbride Building.

Produced by Antiquity Echoes, the trailer is just under three minutes long and interviews several Preserve Greystone members who have been fighting New Jersey on the hospital's imminent demise.

Plans to demolish the buildings have moved forward in recent months, with a cost of some $50 million in taxpayer money, the video says. The demolition could take place within a "matter of months," according to earlier reports. 

Governor Chris Christie announced in 2011 that the long-standing psychiatric hospital, which officially shuttered in 2008, would be remediated and converted. 
Jeanne May 09, 2014 at 05:13 PM
Lothar, I understand the cost, and people's concerned feelings (including yours) for what it represents. That is why I simply asked the question if anyone had explored the idea of a partial save/restoration and change of purpose. I don't know if thinking outside the box would work in this instance, but sheesh, to me it's worth asking the question without writing everything off as black or white. Clearly, I am not an organizer, nor a financier...just a person who thinks history (the good and the bad) is significant and worth preserving when possible.
Lothar Jones May 10, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Jeanne, I understand you like the architecture of parts of Greystone. However, society can't afford to pay for (with tax money) the restoration and ongoing maintenance of old buildings that become the obsession of people who have a hobby of preservation. To me Greystone represents an institution that was known for sexual abuse, electro-shock torture, imprisonment of the mentally ill, and violence against "patients." I can't find a way to romanticize rape and beatings.
Alice Jameson May 10, 2014 at 10:39 AM
I couldn’t agree with your sentiments more, Lothar.
Molly Leeds May 14, 2014 at 06:35 AM
There must be a way to preserve this. If they could find someone with the funding (trust me, there are plenty of people and organizations that have this kind of cash) it would be great. I get the bad history and why preserve that? But I also get that the architecture is something that you will never find again. Look at buildings built today. Cookie cutter with the cheapest materials available. This building was built with care and precision. You could take the bad history and amazing architecture and turn it into something great. How quickly we jump on the "tax payers" card....your tax money is filtered into a lot of areas...some we agree with and some we don't. It's just sad that people couldn't find a way. I agree, if you can't save it all, save part of it. One will never know for sure if viable options were presented and rejected just because or because they really didn't work. I somewhat followed the story, seemed a lot of people wanted to save it and some organizations wanted it gone. Sad that there isn't a middle ground somewhere. I'm happy I've been able to see it as well as my son. He is only 4 but thinks it should be saved because it's such a neat looking building. He asked why it was being torn down and I simply said "because people are more concerned about $ versus preservation of history." Way to go Jersey......
Lothar Jones May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM
You can raise the money from private sources to save Greystone and then make the State of New Jersey an offer to buy the building and land.

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