Monday, August 8, 2011
Tioronda, Beacon, NY
Jazzy and I just finished our 20th annual "father-daughter vacation" - sky diving, West Point, Millbrook cocktail parties, Albany. While driving north on Route 9D we spotted this enormous decaying mansion just south of the city of Beacon. I made a U-turn immediately, drove up to the front and pulled out my camera.
Besides being a major house, it was clearly a pre-Civil War design, confirmed by this plaque on the left side of the entrance facade. The house also had the air of recent - well, maybe not so recent - institutional use, although there were no identifying signs to say by whom or for what purpose.
It took considerable cross researching on the internet before I discovered that this is Tioronda, the former showplace estate of General Joseph Howland (1834-1886), Civil War hero, Beacon philanthropist, and childless patron of the cause of mental health. Howland's sister married the famous American architect Richard Morris Hunt. His nephew was Hunt's famous architect son, Richard Howland Hunt. This, I thought, was pretty cool stuff.
Of course I wondered whether Hunt Sr. had designed the house, but it turns out the architect was Frederick Clarke Withers, at one time partner of the much more famous Calvert Vaux (pronounced 'VOX'). Vaux's name is recognizable to many of us as half of Vaux and Olmstead, the architectural landscapers who designed many nineteenth century parks, prime among them Manhattan's Central Park.
Tioronda today has that unfortunate "rocks through the windows" look, one that wounds the heart of every old house lover. Beyond those windows plenty of fallen plaster and water-damaged parquet is visible. Very sad.
In 1873 General Howland added a music room designed by brother-in-law Richard Morris Hunt. I believe it's in this wing, located at the southeast end of the house. Howland's widow died at Newport, R.I. in 1917, by which time she had already donated her Beacon estate to her husband's favorite cause, mental health. In 1915, Tironda became the first licensed private psychiatric hospital in the United States. Renamed Craig House, for reasons I cannot discover, it functioned for 80 years as a high class sanitarium. Zelda Fitzgerald, the deeply troubled wife of F.Scott, was among the famous and the merely rich who were hospitalized here.
In 1995 the Craig House was purchased by something called Putnam Center Inc., which intended to continue psychiatric services under the name Craig House Center. That's the music room peeking over the top of this hideous new addition. That brutalist retaining wall supports a swimming pool. I don't know if responsibility for this lies with Putnam Center or the former owners.
Someone will have to pay in the Court of Architectural Guilt for both the swimming pool addition and the motel wing connected to it.
From the road, at least, you can't see the new design work, whose invisibility is about the best I can say for it. Tioronda is a house one could truly love and cherish, but its prospects don't look good. It's been vacant since 1999.
Posted by John Foreman at 7:42 AM
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Interesting post! ThanksReplyDelete
Another heartbreaker. Thankfully, you were unable to find any interior photos. I get even more upset when I see the falling plaster and buckled floors as well as evidence of rampant vandalism. Why is it in our culture that it is better to spend oodles of cash on a pretentious McMansion instead of spending it on rehabilitating an old darling like this?ReplyDelete
What a fabulous house. And what interesting facts (like its links to Vaux and Olmstead) your research turned up. Goodness, what a pity about its current state, though!ReplyDelete
I'm always happy to see this place is at least getting a little notice. From time to time I'll run across an article in one of the local papers with someone's latest suggestion for preserving or re-using Tioranda, but nothing ever seems to come of it. It seems to me that its standing in such a prominent location would keep the issue in the forefront of the local public's mind. But evidently it doesn't. Either nobody cares, or else everything that's been suggested so far has been too costly.ReplyDelete
Anyway, you are correct about the red brick wing containing the music room that was designed by Hunt. Frederick Clarke Withers himself had been invited to come to the U.S. and work with Andrew Jackson Downing at Newburgh, just as Calvert Vaux had been invited a year earlier, but Downing died not very long after he arrived, so Withers and Vaux formed their own partnership. Withers also designed the Hudson River State Hospital in Poughkeepsie and the Jefferson Market Courthouse in NYC.
By the way, Tioranda's grounds were designed by Henry Winthrop Sargent, friend of and collaborator with A.J. Downing on a few books, along with being a close neighbor of the Howlands. In its day, Sargent's estate "Woodenthe" was said to have some of the best-managed views, loveliest grounds and finest specimen plantings in this country. A certain type of weeping hemlock is named after Sargent. Woodenthe's main house was later donated to Craig House and became a residence for its workers. It was eventually burned and razed to make way for a housing development. A few more pictures of both Tioranda and Woodenthe can be found by searching Google Books under the title "Beacon Revisited" if anyone is interested.
Just correcting my above comment...I think Sargent's place was actually called "Wodonethe."ReplyDelete
This is the sanatarium that Jane Fonda's mother, Frances Ford Seymour (Fonda) committed suicide in. She slashed her own throat with a razor blade on April 14th, 1950...her 42nd birthday. I'm sure the place is filled with all kinds of energy.ReplyDelete
On wikimedia I found a photo of this house when it was still pretty new.ReplyDelete
Anonymous's Wickimedia photo, sjhowing the house from the south before the music room addition, is a terrific find. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I used to work at the Craig House as a nurses aide in the 60's) and I can tell you it was an amazingly gorgeous old home - but also very 'scary'. Much of the 'scare' came from the patients to be sure, but I was a young woman the. The day shift wasn't bad but I worked 2nd shift ALONE, in that huge house. What I remember as the music room was huge and contained a pipe organ. At that time there was a also 'rubber' room, literally, which is probably common in any psych hospital, but what did I know. I was saddened to hear that old Tioronda is closed and has fallen into disrepair.ReplyDelete
My aunt worked there as a nurse in the 50's and 60's. Did you know Anne King?Delete
Do you have photos of the employees or interior? Granddad was Grover "Prof" Emory, the Physical Director at Craig House in the 20's -1950's.Delete
I believe my mother worked here in the mid 50's. Shirley Wallace.Delete
It brings tears to my eyes to see Tioronda the way it is today! I was the marketing assistant not long before Craig House Hospital closed. I gave tours of the hospital to mental health professionals.ReplyDelete
Yes, there is a historic organ in the music room that was tuned in 1996 and sounded incredible! It is not registered with the Organ Historical Society, although it probably should have been. The library had thousands of first edition books and beautiful wood throughout the entire house. The bedrooms in Tioronda served as the offices for the administrative staff of the hospital. My office was the first door at the top of the stairs. I also remember when the original slate roof was removed and replaced with shingles. It was depressing to watch, but understanding that the cost to fix and/or replace the slate roof was astronomical.
I was lucky enough to speak to Dr. Slocum about how his father turned Tioronda into a private psychiatric hospital in 1915. It was named "Craig House", after an "open" psychiatric hospital in Edinburg, Scotland where the patients were free to roam the hospital. There were numerous famous individuals that stayed at Craig House both under assumed names and their own.
I saw Craig House this past weekend and couldn't believe how incredibly sad Tioronda looks. Even the wheeping hemlock has lost its beauty due to what looks like disease. The outline of that tree was the logo for the hospital. You can find another of Sargent's Wheeping Hemlocks in the Harvard Arboretum. As far as I know, those are the only two left of the original ones found on the hills of Beacon. You can read more specific information about the tree here: http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/1107.pdf
The addition that you see in the back is where the patient rooms were located. It's been a long time since I gave the tour, but I believe the children were on the bottom floor and the adults on the top floor. There were security doors that separated the areas.
This is the most recent information that I found on Tioronda: http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/rob/?p=277
I can only hope that the owner, Mr. Stewart, will one day bring this spectacular home back to life.
I would like to personally hear from this person (Dianna)that left this message.... Historical and personal reasons... Ron Theriault-----Hairsuit63@yahoo.com...Delete
Two more Sargent's weeping hemlock are at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie and on the property west of the Henrik Kipp homestead in Fishkill.Delete
Tioranda was purchased by a Nobel Prize winner who planned to use it to house his art collection. It was on the market for years for sale. It is a 63 acre property with seven buildings. In addition to Zelda Fitzgerald, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Gleason and Truman Capote were among the famous who stayed there at some time.ReplyDelete
In addition, there has been submission of plans for the property to be subdivided at least two different ways and for original mansion to stay.ReplyDelete
What will become of the Johnson organ in the music room?ReplyDelete
I also worked at Craig House in the early 80s and find it heartbreaking to learn of the decay of building and trees,I know many of the landscaping was imported and special and great effort & care was always taken.I was an employee many things were changing,and the new wing was added to faciliate drug/substance abuse issues for adults and children.There was a "geratric" wing for long time patients and also a "locked" wing for patients.In the old part there were patients who had lived there for a very long time,only about three patients lived in the upstairs part..When I first started working there were also outside buildings (houses) that housed patients also. One of the buildings name was "Fairway" that I worked in.across the street was another house that contained "padded" room.It was a wonderful and facinating place to have worked,Im sure half the residence of Beacon have had worked there at one time or another.Any one intrested in more info,should contact a Beacon resident.Such a shame to see it all falling apart.Beautiful in its day!!!!ReplyDelete
You may have been there during my stay. I had one of the upstairs bedrooms. I was 20 at the time. Dr. Koch was my physician. There was a counselor named Gary Nichols who committed suicide shortly after I left. Lots of sad stories associated with that hospital.Delete
I can't believe I read this. I was looking up information about Gary and found your comment. Gary Nichols was the most brilliant and effective person I've every met.Delete
I agree with you about Gary. Have you found any information about him?Delete
To the anonymous posters: What kind of information were you looking for about Gary? I'm 99% sure I can help. ~LNDelete
I grew up in Beacon and, find it heart wrenching to see this building falling to shambles. I remember riding down route 9D, and seeing how magnificent the area was. I moved out of Beacon in 1997, and now when I visit we drive past the old Craig House and it is in ruins. Such a shame for it to go to waste, it should be donated to the historical society or something like that. Beacon is so rich in history and has many beautiful old buildings, Bannermans island is also very close, growing up in this area full of history was phenomenal to learn.ReplyDelete
I was actually a patient there at the age of 19 when Craig House was doing long term treatment for chemical dependency. It was a beautiful place, but scary as well. There were elderly patients there that had been there for many, many years. I stayed in the most incredible room upstairs with four poster bed and private bath. Truman Capote was a patient at the time I was there. There was an especially charming cottage on the grounds where the art director lived, I always remember it. The music roon was dark and sort of gothic. The addition that was put on was for people first coming in on restriction. It was like a "Days Inn" - plain, lots of beige...institutional. The food was PHENOMENAL! Lots of IBMers kids there during the early 80's.ReplyDelete
My sister was a patient there in 1973-74 and is trying to acquire her medical records if they exist. Our father was an IBMer. She insists a psychiatrist told her she did not belong there and that perhaps our mother placed her there for common teenage rebellion. What a shame that, if that were true, a year of her life was lost. Please respond if medical records do exist.Delete
what year where you there? I was there early 90s. Also upstairs gorgeous was like a resort. I didnt want to go home. Was a sense of pieceDelete
My friend was also a patient from 1978-1980 and her father worked for IBM, She is also seeking medical records, and claims she was told she did not need to e there- a very similar tale. Please email me if you are willing to share information. Trueleo@netscape.com. My name is Janet. Thank you.Delete
As a Beacon resident and an architect I worry about the future of the Graig House. It is truly a treasure even though it has been bastardized over the years. I know developers salivate over the property and the last thing we need is another crappy sub-division like the Polo Fields. Hopefully it will fall into the hands of the right people.ReplyDelete
I too worked at the Craig House during the summer when I was 16.I remember the beautiful organ also. I would sometimes work in the dinning room. Some of the patients had individual tables. Beautiful silverware and dinnerware. I would sometimes "work in one of the cottages. My job was to take the 3 tired metal containers of food (brought over from the main house by a driver) up the stairway to the attendant that was caring for the patient.I did this for the 3 meals. Then I washed the container in the small kitchen and it went back for the next meal. I had a large beautiful room with a bed and desk and chairs. I would sweep and mop the room and kitchen and small bathroom (downstairs only )That was some easy but boring job. No TV - but I did read a lot !. I heard the patient upstairs was the wife of a well known newspaper magnate. She would play the piano beautifully.I never met her but would here her say "I want to see that girl downstairs" . A few of us girls stayed for the summer in rooms over the carriage house.There was an older women who acted as house mother. We could go into town on Sat and Sun if I remember correctly. We were all afraid to walk past certain houses on the property that were supposed to be haunted. The property was gorgeous and Well maintained.As others I now pass this once glorious house with sadness. To see the decline is like a slow death. I also wonder why it cannot be on the historical register.Memories...like the corners of my mind....ReplyDelete
When did you work there?Delete
My Granddad worked there as the Physical Director 1920's -1950's.Grover "Prof" Emory. Grandma Ivy Rodley Emory worked as a RN 1929-the late 30's. Anyone have old photos of the workers or the buildings?Delete
I was equally stopped in my travels by this stunning and abandoned gemstone of American history.I too took pictures and enjoyed the ancient landscapes and plants that are easily over a century old such a a juniper that spread out twenty feet with stalks foot across.the music room has vexing stained glass windows and every detail was constructed to last an millennium and moreDelete
Hi Sharon Hunt~Delete
Not sure if you will receive this message? However, if you do, I just found this thread while I was researching my Great Uncle Grover "Prof" Emory and his ties to the Craig House in Beacon, NY. In hopes of you reading this, my Great Grandfather is Clifford Emory who was Grover's Brother. My email address is email@example.com~I would love to hear from you and to be in touch! Thanks!!
I truly hope this exciting 19th century treasure gets the same rebound and respect Boscobel, Van Wyck, Morse and Verplanck houses received, surely investors plan to revive this Hudson River valley gemstoneDelete
I live near this wonderful house. Good news - new windows have been installed with no apparent degradation of appearance. All the out buildings have been stabilized with non-offensive covering over windows and doors and new roofs and painted trim. Workers are occasionally on site, but other than what I have mentioned, there is little evident progress. The local community is eager for a restoration.ReplyDelete
I worked at Craig House and so did two of my relatives. I was trained by Dr. Slocum in the morning classes at Craig House. In the evenings I experienced working in all of the buildings on the property.
I am now a doctor and hope that Beacon will restore this wonderful historical building. Craig House was once exclusively for the rich and famous. I remember all the wonderful patients! I am thankful for the training I received.
My great aunt, Constance Whitney Warren, was a patient there for many years, ending in her death in 1948. I'm doing research into her life - she was an accomplished sculptress - and am trying to obtain her records from her time at Craig House. Do you have any information about her or how I could track down her records?Delete
Hope you get this message, I knew all the doctors there, Dr. Voght, deceased ans is Jonathan Slocum, who owned the place. Howard Smaoller was a shrink there and he is still around, Beacon, I think, try to look him up.Delete
Re: Constance Whitney Warren research. Have you discovered a correlation between her giving up her successful career as a sculptress to marry--and later divorce--a Frenchman and her later, prolonged mental illness? firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
Can anyone tell me when the golf course at Craig House opened and/or when it closed? Thanks.Delete
Regarding Constance Whitney Warren medical records. Perhaps this person could helpDelete
She's listed on whitepages.com as still in Cornwall-on-Hudson.
I was working at Craig House when it closed... and I had the pleasure of guarding the building for 2 years after it closed. I basically got paid to live there after it was empty. It was a little creepy. I know every nook and cranny of this place.ReplyDelete
I am also a Beacon resident. We have seen restoration going on at Bannerman's Island, the Beacon Fire Tower,the riverfront, Main Street, Dennings Point, the Roundhouse and I could go on. We have seen Hiddenbrooke, the base if Mt. Beacon and the University Settlement Camp saved from developers. It's time some of us get together to save Craig House/Tioronda and just as importantly it's beautifully landscaped grounds!!! Maybe the gentlemen that has been turning the Roundhouse complex into a beautifully landscsped restaurant and boutique hotel can next work his magic on Craig House.ReplyDelete
This is Great!! I must have visit this place many times, in fact just last week.. I am so fascinated by it's Historic architect and old 1859 wall that still stands as a reminder, after 153 years. I myself was born 1959 so I have this attachment and motivation for going at it on a photo venture. It's great because I have taking many photographs that in some, I capture ghostly Orbs.. Real Orbs!!ReplyDelete
For the many people that have died and passed on, few still remain..
Is there any way I could see your photographs with the ghostly orbs in them? I was there just yesterday and would love to see your photographs of it as wellDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
I am sorry to say that Tioronda burned last night. There was a video on Facebook this morning. An amazing, beautiful mansion, and a LOT of history..... lost to flames. It should have been saved. Another one being lost to decay is Halcyon Hall in Millbrook. But hey, it frees up more land so Toll Brothers can come in and build more developments, right?!?ReplyDelete
It was the administration building, not the mansion THANK GOD!ReplyDelete
Wow.. that's better news...Delete
Dutchess GIS still shows owner as Tioronda LLC. And yes... rumor has it that the property owner wants to build homes on the property.ReplyDelete
Devastating historical loss to have Tioronda burned to the ground, likely by vandalism! I grew up with Craig House practically next door, so sad.ReplyDelete
Thank God it wasn't the Mansion...............ReplyDelete
I heard this morning for the first time that the mansion is up for sale... I only pray that the new owner, whoever it may be, will again use it for the purpose it was intended after being left by the owners wife as a institution for mental health...ReplyDelete
I stayed there as a patient for 4 years in the early 80's.ReplyDelete
I worked there from 1986 to 1989 as a medical transcriptionist. My husband was teaching at West Point and I made the commute every day. Dr. Constantine Vardopolous was the Director and his son, Basil Vardopolous ran the place. Mrs. Vardopolous was often seen walking around "observing" and was a behind the scenes taskmistress!ReplyDelete
Dr. V gave me permission to go up into the attic for a half hour every morning to review old medical records. This was fascinating! I hope they got those old records out of there before the building was abandoned. I wonder what happened to the Vardopolouses. I enjoyed working there.
Constantine Vardopolous MD is a Psychiatrist still working out of St Luke's Hospital in Newburgh, NY. No current listings in the area for Basil Vardopolous.Delete
The word at the time was that Dr Vardopolous bought the hospital, milked it, then made a fortune selling it just before the insurance companies stopped paying for extended mental health in-patient "care."Delete
I stayed there in the late 90s in the juvenile ward. Everyone is right, it was a beautiful building with quite a history. But for me, it was a true house of horrors. I think with beautiful historical places many of us forget that some of these buildings were home to some of the worst experiences in others lives. I just want people to be respectful of that. Sometimes we should leave things alone.ReplyDelete
I had the pleasure of being a client at Craig House in 1995. I had been living in my car in NJ and somehow strings were pulled for NJ medicaid to pay for my 49 day stay. I remember the huge organ in the mansion and the beautiful architecture. Jackie Gleason had donated a pool table (nice table) for his frequent stays I was told. I am forever grateful for Craig House and the staff. I remember a fantastic counselor named Helen that would always comment when one of the patients would have a problem "What a wonderful opportunity to grow". I had no hope to live and with this being maybe my 30th detox/rehab I didn't think Craig House would make a difference in my life. I have been clean since March of 95 and continue to carry the message of recovery to anybody that has the willingness to try to live differently.ReplyDelete
I recently heard that the building was sold to some well known movie director? Anyone else hear this? I hope it's restored and not subdivided into more condos/townhouses.ReplyDelete
For sale. 8 million if you have it. What a shame. Also resident there was Rose Marie Kennedy post labotomy.ReplyDelete
Went past today, still a beautiful building. Took a right from 9D onto Grandview and then 1st right onto Smith Ave (dead end). There is property looks like an old school, maybe the neighborhood school from the late 1800's. Anyone know about this building? Also at the end of the dead end is a boarded up mill.ReplyDelete
I was an Patient there, in 92/93....A Greek Dr. was the Owner of the place, and his son was a go for, he'd drive patients around the grows for appointments at different locations. I understand that the Insurance Companies took exception to the Costs of treating Alcoholics and Drug addicts there, it started to become a rehab about then late 80's and early 90's. I was being treated for PTSD with anxiety and Panic attack disorder. My Dr first was a Dr. Bolver (sp) and then Dr. Kelmenson, who I see to this day for treatment. Also had a Therapist named Alison Haller, Both great at what they do. I understand the Greek Dr. who did own and ran the place sank a lot of his own money into the Hospital, until he had to sell to a local small Hospital. I swam in the "ugly eye sore" of a pool, I found it VERY relaxing, since I had a nervous breakdown before entering Craig House. I also played a little pool on Mr. Gleason's Donated pool table. Also relaxing. And yes, the food was VERY good, and the dining room was well kept, Chandeliers hung over each linen covered table for 6. You'd go through the service line and make an order from the choices posted/ and served yourself to the salad bar. But a waitress would serve you your meal when it was ready. Our room in the "Ugly" Motel looking extension, were very well furnished and had nice views of the rolling hill behind Craig House. I was there as an IN patient for about 7 weeks in Two stays total. And about the same as an OUT patient. And had some nice conversations with some of the staff while there. I haven't been Hospitalized for my Anxiety/Panic disorder or PTSD since. I am still being treated by Dr Kelmenson. People worry about how sick people are still walking the streets? Well, no one wants to foot the Bill. And what Hospitals that do take in people with mental issues, you ever stay in one? Like being in a Jail or a Place for Homeless. Then when insurance is lacking they throw you out!! But Craig House fought the Insurance companies, when they said they wouldn't pay for more treatment.. But Craig House if they thought you needed more time, ate the bill till they thought you were healthy enough to go home. God Bless them, wish I could remember the Greek Dr. who owned the place and did this for us!!ReplyDelete
My experiences at Craig House spanned the Summers of 1956 and 1957 when I was a companion to various residents under Dr. Slocum's supervision. My first season there I slept in a tiny room on the top floor of "Tioranda" on Monday to Thursday nights, driving home, out of town, for the weekends. I have fond memories of mixing with some of the residents of the main house (who shall remain anonymous) in my evening off-hours, playing cards or billiards with them. I vaguely recall an organ but never asked permission to play it.ReplyDelete
My first Summer was spent with a female resident of a locked cottage who had a mutual interest in music, especially opera. She was one of several allowed to attend local Summer theater productions, to which we were transported by van with other pairs of patients & companions. During my second Summer, I spent time with various female patients in different locations, including one teenager.
One of the out-buildings then was an art studio while others on either side of Route 9D served as private or communal residences. There was an in-ground swimming pool near a well-kept green/French clay tennis court, both usable by all who lived or worked there. (I wonder if they still exist.)
"Wodenethe" was Henry Winthrop Sargent's nearby family estate (1841), subsequently owned by his son, Winthrop. After the main house was burned on purpose by the town fire department, three investors bought the 20-acre property in 1956. They subdivided it into building lots for custom-built homes, making a great effort to preserve Henry W. Sargent's remarkable landscaping. Weeping and Copper Beech, Weeping Hemlock, Mock Orange and Gingkos are some that I remember learning about while driving through there, first in 1956. My parents built a house there and I was pleased to recently see that the area is still well maintained.
My mistake: I should have written "Tioronda." I never knew its history or even heard it called by that name when I was there. I'm grateful to the earlier writers to inform me about it after all these years.Delete
Regarding Tioronda, Beacon, N.Y.ReplyDelete
I recently found your blog page while researching the life and work of my grand aunt, Elizabeth Lawn. She was born in Yorkshire, England; graduated as a registered nurse and immigrated to the United States in 1927 to work at Craig House Sanatorium. My Mother inherited some of my grand aunt's personal possessions which included a glowing reference from Dr. Slocum and a number of printed photographs of the grounds and interiors. My Grand Aunt left in 1935 and returned to England for a short while to nurse illness in her family. Later that year she returned to the U.S. where she died in 1978.
Mr N Bailey. England U.K
My son was a patient at Craig House in the late 1990s. I am trying to locate his medical records for submission to Social Security and I have not had much success thus far. If anyone knows whether these records still exist and, if they do, where and how I can obtain copies of my son's records, I'd be very grateful. I can be reached at email@example.com.ReplyDelete
Several years have passed and I am still trying to locate my son's Craig House records. I can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Delete
I worked there in 89 after I graduated from Vassar. Worked there for a year or two.ReplyDelete
At that time the long modern wing held the locked adolescent ward (my unit) and the locked adult ward. We did a lot of good work there, but I wasn't fond of the money oriented aspect of the business.
I worked there in 89 after I graduated from Vassar. Worked there for a year or two.ReplyDelete
At that time the long modern wing held the locked adolescent ward (my unit) and the locked adult ward. We did a lot of good work there, but I wasn't fond of the money oriented aspect of the business.
I worked as an aide here while going to nursing school from 1979-1980. It was where I actually saw an ECT (electroshock therapy) treatment given. "Meadows" was the name of the building where everything was locked. Mrs. Cushman was a long-term patient there. Admitted there while a teenager, she was in her 70's at the time. Her nickname was "Toadie" and she used to yell down the stairs all the time, requesting her Tylenol. Kate Melville was committed to Meadows by her Millbrook family. She called me by her granddaughter's name, Leith, which I would later find out gave her great comfort. Mr. Pratt was in another cottage, and he was the oldest person with Huntington's Disease in the country at the time. "Lady Mumford", Miss Butler and Mrs. Mary Butler lived in Tioronda. They were also, admitted at very young ages, and were in their late 70's/early 80's at the time. Mr. Land was in the cottage closest to the administrative building. My goodness, I haven't thought about these people in so long.ReplyDelete
Linda, would you e willing to contact me privately? My name is Janet and I am seeking information for my friend who was a patient there from approx. 1978-1980 as an adolescent. I would be very grateful. Thank you Janet GaDelete
OMG this should be restored to its original grandeur,especially the Tavern on the Green builder's magic has embraced Central Park this property and structure would make a huge compliment to New Yorkers and New York State legacy.I personally would love to gather funds and support to revive this Hudson River valley gemstone to it's original glory,I see potential equally to Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina,Grants farm in Saint Louis,MO Zeinopole,PA mansions,ideal for marriages,corporate parties or music minded people with hotel and complete facilities for horseback,bus tours of the grand venues from Beacon to Hyde ParkReplyDelete
If nothing else, they should have a guided tour through the buildings and all through the properties. The money collected could be put into the grounds and buildings for upkeep. I use to live near the Craig House Gym, tennis courts, & pond. There was a driver who would bring the patients down at a certain time in the afternoon. There were two workers at the gym. One man was George and the other was Paul. I have been in the main building and the gym and it absolutely hurts to think the buildings and the property will remain vacant and deteriorate. At least let the history of the place live on. It is fascinating.ReplyDelete
All these comments about how wonderful this place was.....ReplyDelete
I was a patient when I was a teenager in the mid 90's and this was one of the WORST and HORRIFIC places I've ever been too. The staff treated the children horribly (physical and verbal abuse) and I remember seeing the adult patients when I was first admitted (they brought me into that scary library) and ALL of the adults were out of it, drooling, mumbling incoherently to themselves and could hardly keep their heads up. This place is SCARY and seeing all the catatonic adult patients was even scarier. Nobody was allowed outside. The kids were locked behind 2 or 3 pairs of magnetically locked doors on the second floor. I did not see sunlight for the entire 10 days I was there. We had incredibly darkened windows that we were not allowed to open the shades to or look out, but we always sneaked and peeked out the window because we were desperate for the real world. The windows were caged from the outside with big metal bars on the inside. I never saw any adults outside at all, let alone golfing or painting or sunbathing, LOL! It's so hard for me to imagine this place as being some sort of high class resort style hospital. I would love to talk to someone who was actually a patient there while it was such a nice place to be, because everyone else's opinions come from knowing someone who was there or worked there and seemingly a very, very long time ago. Was anyone around this place in the 90's right before it closed? Let's talk about how this place was right before it shut it's doors. It was nothing to brag about.
I would also love to know where I can find my records. All records of Craig House's patients seem to have vanished.
I worked at the craig house from the mid 80's until it's closing. during that time it changed hands several times. I only worked the night shift so I didn't get a full flavor of how the place ran during the day. It truly was a neat place aside from that ugly wing that was added on. I can say that the staff I worked with were all caring and there and they always treated the patients with dignity. I have fond memories of the place and enjoyed working there. Toward the end it seemed that Putnam just couldn't fill the beds. They tried all sorts of things including a geriatric unit. Very sad for the beautiful place to end up falling down.ReplyDelete
A big thank you to all the folks who contributed to this thread, which I just found. My grandfather founded Craig House about 1915, and my father owned the hospital until he sold it to staff psychiatrist Dr. Constantine Vardopoulos in the 1990s. The comments flowing through this thread bring back many, many memories, from Hugh Murray, the farmer who managed the horses and the farmland to the interesting, often brilliant patients being treated there and the skilled, caring staff that made the hospital hum along successfully until it was overtaken by insurance protocols and unsustainable economics. I, too, cringe at my father's decision to hire a Connecticut architect whom he knew in college to design the hideous wing and hitch a swimming pool to the rear of Tioranda. Hideous, indeed. As a kid I learned to ski jump from a makeshift mound built by a Norwegian patient of my father. I worked one summer on a grounds crew run by Bull Marcantonio, a mountain of a man with a heart of gold. During another summer, I life-guarded at the pool near the pond, the Hydro, the tennis court and baseball diamond. Nice work for a kid. I remember Jane and the late Peter Fonda visiting Craig House to see their mother, a patient (She committed suicide at the hospital.). As a college student I would "sample" gallon jugs of red wine made with grapes from the hospital vineyard. I would love to hear more from former employees and patients. My father kept my sister and brother insulated from business and medical areas, so I know precious little about the operation of the place. But I have fond memories of patient aide Stanley Rohrbach, who drove his client to Army football games, golf outings, dinner at Gus' Tavern in Cold Spring, and Mets baseball games in his blue Willy's Jeepster. If anyone would like to contact me directly, my email is email@example.com.ReplyDelete