These photos are from the grounds of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center, a sprawling complex of abandoned hospitals, residences and other buildings that once housed "hundreds of thousands" of sick and mentally ill patients on the North Shore of Long Island.
"Kings Park was one of the island’s four giant state mental institutions — part farm, part warehouse — that treated hundreds of thousands of patients from New York City. It began in the 1880s and kept growing into the 1960s and ’70s until, like its counterparts on the island and across the country, it was made obsolete by new drug therapies and a new understanding of the rights of the mentally ill. Kings Park shut down in 1996 and the grounds became a state park, partly because nobody knew what else to do with it. Too far from major roads and full of buildings contaminated with asbestos and lead, it has proved inhospitable to redevelopment." (The New York Times, Aug. 4, 2012)
The rotting buildings are covered in ivy, vines, and weeds, as well as graffiti and giant wasps nests and other signs of neglect. One window to what used to be an office featured lawn mower blades that had been recycled and welded into makeshift burglar bars. In the yard alongside one of the residence buildings, bedsprings, file cabinets and other signs of life are rusting away near worn pathways that, every few feet, twinkle with broken glass. Scores of people lived, worked and died in these buildings during the facility's 100-plus years. The grounds are quiet now. As I was walking down one pathway, I startled a deer that had been drinking from a pool of standing water inside one of the ruined courtyards.
This series was shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 film.
Development and scanning by TheFINDLab in Orem, Utah.