Watch history smashed: Gorgeous Greystone hospital’s demolition, seen by drone
For fans of the architectural marvel that was the Greystone Psychiatric Hospital's main Kirkbride building, Wednesday was a tough day.
A crane smashed the building to bits as part of the controversial demolition project, which pitted state officials who said saving the facility would be too costly and impractical against community members eager to see a piece of history preserved.
State officials citing a 2012 report found it would cost at least $110 million to save Greystone — the site that first opened in 1877 as the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Morris Plains. The rejected proposals to redevelop it into housing and possibly office space as money-losers.
Meanwhile, right until the end, advocacy group Preserve Greystone rejected those analyses and argued it was key to hold onto a facility with a storied history — which included caring for Woody Guthrie and countless others, but also a host of latter-year scandals involving suicides, rapes and mistreatment.
Jody Johnson, founder of the Glide by JJ project, captured the stunning view of the demolition Wednesday from her drone — that video can be seen above. She's been documenting the process for months in a series of videos, but says this is among her best.
Want to see what all the fuss is about? See images of Greystone, in decay, from the 2013 report. Even under the mold and deterioration, the former grandeur of the architecture comes through: