Joel M Nadler Photography

Hudson River State Hospital

Hudson River Psychiatric Center has been treating and caring for mentally ill men and women since October 21, 1871. The expansive campus was built as a part of the Kirkbride Plan, which practiced a new method for the time, called Moral Treatment, a term coined by Thomas Kirkbride, with the help of activist Dorothea Dix[1]. The campus was built with very mindful attention to every detail of its design, to promote a healthy environment and convey a sense tranquility. The Hudson River campus was designed by some of the country’s best architects, including Frederick Law Olmstead who created Central Park.

The grounds encompassed about 752 acres in Poughkeepsie, NY. Construction of the hospital site started in 1868. By 1871, all three sections of the Kirkbride building were completed. By 1890 the hospital had 900 patients, which gradually increased  until the 1950’s when the facility housed nearly 6000 patients.

In 1989, the Main Building was designated a National Historic Landmark.

By 1984, the hospital population was down to around 900 patients and it continued to decline until its closure in 2012. Hudson River Psychiatric Center was closed in January of that year and its remaining patients were transferred to Rockland Psychiatric Center. [2]


[1] https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/hudson-river-state-hospital

[2] https://hrshnursesalumni.wordpress.com/history/

© 2022 Joel M Nadler Photography

Helped by Józsa Attila Gergő