Dorm Overgrown, Abandoned and Empty

Jane Neill-Hancock

Wayne, United States

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Artist's Description

taken winter 2012
History of hospital below:
Overbrook Asylum or the Essex County Psychiatric Hospital Center was a psychiatric hospital whose buildings are still located in the Township of Cedar Grove, New Jersey. The hospital was used as a normal hospital then converted to house mentally ill patients that were in need of care. Located at the edge of the Hilltop Reservation and designated a Conservation Easement in 2001 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the site now is part of the Essex County park system.

In 1896, a large portion of land was purchased by the City of Newark, New Jersey; to build a new hospital to relive pressure in the overcrowded Newark Hospital. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many buildings were built that housed patients and other facilities, such as a power house, laundromat, and theater. In the mid 1920’s, the tri-state mental correction board bought the land and converted Overbrook into a mental institution. The Overbrook asylum ran on, adding several add-ons and new wards until its abrupt close in the winter of 1975. It has been claimed that over 10,000 patients died before it was closed. In 2008, the hospital was featured on the paranormal reality TV shows Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters.

This building no longer exists – All the buildings on the north side of the street have been demolished now except the firehouse. the county plans to make it a park on one side and a private company has bought the other side and plans to build exclusive homes. I doubt very much that the park or the new neighborhood will have a peaceful existence. To be honest, when you walk the grounds and stand by the buildings, you get an uneasy feeling and the buildings seem to have an essence or life of their own. you can almost see it in my photos.

Artwork Comments

  • Valerie Anne Kelly
  • Jane Neill-Hancock
  • Dlouise
  • Jane Neill-Hancock
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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