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Hudson River State Hospital

Poughkeepsie, New York

Significance: The Hudson River State Hospital is the first significant example in the United States of the high Victorian Gothic architectural style applied to institutional construction. Designed by Frederick C. Withers, it represents the culmination of late-19th century Gothic Revival, and established Withers' reputation as one of its finest practitioners. The hospital also represents the talents of one of America's greatest landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmsted. Developed as the result of recognizing insanity as a treatable illness, this hospital was considered the most modern facility built in New York State when it opened in 1871.

Threat/Damage: Demolition. The New York Office of Mental Health has vacated the building. Reuse options are being examined informally; New York State recently announced plans to offer vacant state hospital properties for sale to the public.

Response: Rehabilitation. A reuse feasibility study is needed followed by rehabilitation for a compatible new use, in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office.

from the Heritage Preservation Services: 1997 LANDMARKS AT RISK REPORT: NEW YORK

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