Photo series and reporting by Amy Guethlein
On the North Shore of Long Island sits the remains of what was once a prominent institution for the mentally ill. Kings Park Psychiatric Center is a former psychiatric hospital located in Nissequogue River State Park in Kings Park, New York. Known to locals as KPPC or “The Psych Center,” Kings Park was one of Long Island’s four main mental institutions, treating thousands of patients over the course of its 111-year history.
Since its closure in 1996, a portion of the grounds has been named Nissequogue River State Park. While many of its 150 buildings have been burned down or demolished, several still stand today- overgrown, abandoned, and a shell of their former self.
What remains of KPPC is illegal to trespass and the sites are patrolled by local police forces, but that does little to stop explorers and risk-takers from climbing over the fences or through the shattered windows.
Some locals wander the grounds of the rotting asylum, and many leave their mark on any surface they can reach in graffiti.
The grounds are decaying, heavily vandalized, and trashed with both remnants of the past and what current explorers have left behind.
Kings Park Psychiatric Center has an undeniable dark history within the deteriorating walls and eerily creepy interiors lined with asbestos. What’s left in its place is a decaying testament to the American mental healthcare system, open for eager visitors to explore the remnants of the past.