11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Four National Historic Landmark Hospitals

Year Listed: 1999
Location: New York
Threat: Poor Public Policy

Significance

Created by some of the greatest names in American architecture--Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux and A. J. Downing--New York's four National Historic Landmark psychiatric hospitals are proud monuments of 19th-century design and social consciousness. Today, however, their expansive wards are largely empty, and time and lack of maintenance have taken a sad toll on the buildings and grounds. In an effort to rid itself of a financial drain, New York state has put these four properties on the market with no reference to the sites' National Historic Landmark status.. In the absence of preservation requirements, the landmarks could be insensitively remodeled or even destroyed, and four important chapters in America's story could be blotted out.