I’d like to start off by stating that you can purchased a signed copy of the book at the following link: antiquityechoes.blogspot.com/p/greystone-park.html
Our friends, Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews, over at Antiquity Echoes, had a touching message about Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Antiquity Echoes preserves vintage and decaying architecture and it’s surroundings through photography and videography (with wonderful melodic overtures on each video). You can view their youtube channel at the link below. Their aim is to “preserve, educate, and share. Consider the things found herein as small epitaphs to the often overlooked bits of history that lie rotting all around us.”
Recently, Rusty, had written a well thought and beautiful comment about Greystone that I wanted to share with our viewers.
“To be honest – When Christina and I first began the task of composing this book, we were both very excited and quite terrified by the idea. It’s one thing to write about forgotten places, as we regularly do on our website. Authoring a public record of a place that meant so much to so very many people, that was something altogether different. That said, we also knew that a proper record of events needed to be made, one that didn’t gloss over the turmoil which were Greytsone’s final years. It was a terrible, helpless feeling to watch on as a place you cared so much about, a hospital of such great historical significance, a building that meant so much to so many, was slowly torn apart in front of you. Christina and I had many sleepless nights throughout much of 2015, as we documented every aspect of Greystone’s fall. We wholeheartedly did not want to see it, but at the same time knew we had to film everything we could…
…This book is very much a product of what we (somehow) lived through in 2015. The pages therein are not just historical facts listed under black-and-white imagery. We took what we had bottled up inside during this whole disastrous ordeal, and laid it out for all to see. To know what was stolen from us, you must first know what it was to begin with. This book provides that in spades. Greystone was not a haunted house on a hilltop, or an “eyesore” as some may have labeled it. To even consider it as such shows an utter lack of understanding that we hope this book will finally dispel.
The cover shows Greystone draped in mourning. It was the only image we submitted to the publisher for consideration as the cover. The standard practice is for the author to produce 4-5 potential images, so that the publisher may choose the one which is best suited. When we explained the need for this specific cover image to Arcadia they immediately understood, and even altered the old photograph to allow space above the asylum for the title to be printed.
We are honored to have the book begin with an extremely well written introduction, penned by Robert Kirkbride. His thoughts begin the book with a passionate and rather pointed piece that perfectly lays the groundwork and tone for the pages that follows it. Arcadia went out of their way to expand the pages allotted for the introduction, so that it could be included in its entirety.
The book itself consists of 120+ pages of historical imagery, most of which has never been seen before. As the back cover explains – Much of the archival photography found in the book was rescued from the basements of the disused asylum buildings in 2002, before demolition began. The Morris Plains Museum were more than accommodating, allowing us access to their archives for hours at a time, to digitize the old photography, annual reports, and Psychograms for the book. We were even able to obtain excerpts from“Rhymes of A Raver”, a rare poetry book authored by a patient at Greystone, and printed by the patient print shop.
The final chapter is something else entirely, and what we hope will make the book of use not only as a history lesson, but as a future preservation tool for people and groups to use in their fights save other historic structures. Again, Arcadia went above and beyond when we explained what we wanted to do. Normally an “Images of America’ book allows for a maximum of 9% of the pages to be used for “modern” imagery, meaning anything taken within the past 25 years or so. When we explained the chaos and controversy surrounding the demolition of Greystone (during a phone call we made to them from the active demolition site), and how there was no way to do Greystone’s final years justice in such a small space, they allowed us to expand the final chapter to be 25% of the book. In doing so we were able to fit in details that would have otherwise been impossible to include, and to properly convey the outpouring of support Greystone had at the end. Christina and I often wondered if Arcadia would ask us to tone down some of the things we were planning to include, as ‘Images of America’ is not really a political book series. It was not the case, and in fact they seemed to know exactly what we were going for. When it came time for us to review the final draft of the book before it went to print, they returned to us a transcript that was completely unaltered, along with a kind message noting how much they liked the writing.
So, here it is. We hope these pages may serve as a fitting farewell to a place that, by all means, should still be standing today. Long live Greystone.
Amazon link – www.amazon.com/dp/1467116491”
You can visit the following sites for more information: