A Brief History of the Main Building

Legislature determined to erect a second State Hospital in another section of the State, and they authorized the Governor to appoint Commissioners to receive by gift, or contract for the purchase of a suitable site on or near the Hudson River, below the City of Albany, upon which to erect the Hudson River State Hospital…

Timeline: 1868 – 2012

This timeline is on display in the main hall of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center Historical Society museum: • 1867 Poughkeepsie chosen as site for the Hudson River Asylum • 1869 Main Building designed by Vaux, Withers and Co • 1871 First 7 patients admitted • 1886 HRSH School of Nursing founded • 1889 Central Group and Edgewood opened • 1891…

1867 Check, Signed, James H. Weeks

Welcome to the 1st artifact post! Artifact posts will be used to highlight individual items. I will try to include a historical background for the items shown to give them context. Comments are always welcome if you’d like to share additional information. I will attempt to upload detailed images of even the smallest artifacts but if you’d…

1880 Voucher, Signed, James M. Cleaveland

Carriage vouchers were used to transport patients and staff of Hudson River State Hospital to and from the hospital grounds. As noted on the form, venders, were unable to claim a charge against the hospital for service unless the voucher was hand signed by Superintendent James M. Cleaveland. James M. Cleaveland was the first superintendent of…

Patients’ Store

Below are examples of patient money used to purchase items in the patient’s store. I have also included a sample of the offerings of The Community Store, which was located in the ground floor of South Wing directly behind the central Administration Building block. Patient money was printed in strips of 5 and measure approximately…

Preservation Effort: Historical

Beginning in 1979 the supervisors of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center (HRPC) began compiling and sending requests to the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to review and consider their request for the complete demolition of the recently closed patient wards; located in Building 51. The wards were deemed an “attractive nuisance”, and a risk to…