Binghamton State Hospital (Historic Asylums)

Binghamton State Hospital

aka Binghamton Inebriate Asylum, Binghamton PsychiatricCenter

Binghamton, New York

Photo at right by Ron Clupper,used by permission.

Established 1858, still standing.
Architect of main building: Isaac Perry

Other recommended site: Castle on the Hill [NYSAsylum]

"There are many ways that the Binghamton Psychiatric Center contributes to the mental health of our community. For 140 years, this site has been treating and caring for persons with substance abuse problems and emotional problems. Perhaps less well know is the fact that it is situated on over 200 public acres of manicured lawns and walkways. It is a perfect destination for walking, biking, bird-watching or quiet reflection. From its hillside location, one has an incomparable view of the Susquehanna River Valley and the skyline of downtown Binghamton.

The administrators of BIA brought in a rising star in the architectural world to design their new hospital. In 1858 Isaac Perry moved to Binghamton to work on the imposing Castellated Gothic building that became the headquarters and hospital for the BIA. One hundred forty years later this castle-like structure with its towers and minarets still lords over the facility and the Susquehanna River valley from the crest of the hill on the grounds. Due to changing politics (resulting in the deinstitutionalization of persons with mental illness), the Main Building, as the Perry building is called, is no longer used. This National Historic Register building, somewhat run down at the heels, sits behind a chain-link fence waiting to fill the needs of an organization with a large enough mission and imagination.

Even in its current, moth-balled condition this fortress-like building is well worth a visit just to see the oldest example of monumental, multi-story, masonry architecture in this area. There are even some observations about its disrepair that make it more interesting. A dilapidated stone stair case leading to a second floor door reveals the underlying fieldstone masonry. When you imagine the sheer volume of these uneven fieldstones that comprise the foundation and undergird the facade of this building, imagine the monumental logistical challenge of its construction."

- Text by Ron Clupper, used with permission, from "April 16, 1998: Binghamton Psychiatric Center". Please see this other page for a lot more information.

Other Images:

  • Modern gazebo photo, by Ron Clupper
  • Historic b/w photo of main center
  • Historic b/w photo

    Postcard Views:

  • Entrance of Center Building
  • Distant View
  • Another Distant View
  • Several Buildings, colorized
  • Several Buildings, black-and-white
  • Main Building with Trees
  • Main Building with Lawn
  • Main Building, Other Angle
  • Main Building with Lawn,another view
  • Main Building, 1905, "Coming Tomorrow"
  • Entrance to Grounds
    Visit RootsWeb