The day room at Building 93 of the old Kings Park Psychiatric Center once featured a series of touching autobiographical murals depicting patient life originally painted in the 1960s. The above image shows a detail of an intact mural before the property fell into disrepair. Courtesy of Abandoned Meanings Blog.

ACTION ALERT!

Help protect the legacy of York Hall, the Kings Park Psychiatric Center, and the many publicly owned resources at Nissequogue River State Park! 

Are you concerned about the future of York Hall and Nissequogue River State Park? Local community members, stakeholders, and the general public may participate in the ongoing development of a Master Plan for Nissequogue River State Park see below for more information.

The following Master Plan materials are available to the public on the NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation website:

Any questions or comments regarding the Nissequogue River State Park Master Plan should be emailed to: NissequogueRiver.Plan@parks.ny.gov

YORK HALL, aka Building 80 (built 1930-32)
Kings Park State Hospital/Psychiatric Center
Town of Smithtown, Suffolk County

York Hall is grandly situated at the entrance of Nissequogue River State Park, located at the former campus of the Kings Park State Hospital/Psychiatric Center. York Hall is one of many significant historic and cultural resources eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Kings Park State Hospital/Psychiatric Center Historic District campus.

Constructed at a time when over 90% of the Kings Park community lived or worked at the Psychiatric Center, York Hall represents the deep connections between the former hospital and its surrounding community. While patients used York Hall for recreational activities, performances, and plays (theater and drama were viewed as both therapeutic and a means by which to keep patients active and socially engaged), town residents used the building for community meetings, holiday celebrations, dances, receptions, and other social activities. York Hall continued to serve as a civic center into the late 1990s, when the New York State Office of Mental Health decommissioned the hospital and transferred the property to the State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Vacant and largely abandoned since 1996, the condition of York Hall has severely deteriorated due to deferred maintenance and lack of comprehensive planning for the site’s future reuse. Nevertheless, the building retains its character-defining elements as well as its prominent place in local memory. Recognizing York Hall’s great potential for revitalization as a 21st-century arts center and mid-sized performance space, Preservation Long Island and members of the Kings Park community are ready to work with State officials to explore possibilities for restoring the building to public use as part of the ongoing Master Planning process for the park.

Preservation Long Island advocates for York Hall to be stabilized and secured as soon as possible while a rehabilitation plan comes together and potential public-private partnerships with arts organizations and other groups are explored to revitalize the facility.

Please contact your officials to voice your support for protecting the natural and historical resources at Nissequogue River State Park!

Contact Governor Hochul:
Send a message to the Governor online HERE, or call her office at (518) 474-8390
Or by mail:
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Contact your NYS Senator:
https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator

Contact your NYS Assembly Representative:
https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator

Contact your State Parks officials:
Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Phone: (518) 474-0443
Email: [email protected]

George “Chip” Gorman Jr., Long Island Parks Regional Director
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
625 Belmont Avenue
West Babylon, NY 11704
Phone: (631) 321-3501
Email: george.gorman@parks.ny.gov

York Hall pictured circa 1932.