“Woke up this morning,
Another building torn down,
Not by a plane,
By a parking lot.” – Mustard Plug
It is inevitable it seems. In about 2 years the once magnificent structure of Greystone will be torn down to dust. Even though there are groups to prevent such a travesty and an outcry from local residents, it seems that the current Governor of New Jersey will still go ahead with the demolition.
Knowing all of this, I decided to make my third visit to the infamous Greystone. I was hoping that maybe I would be able to enter again, third time is always a charm, but for myself and others that wish to get inside, please take warning! It was two of my friends and I and we saw a total of two unmarked cop cars, two regular cop cars, one state trooper, one fence patrol car, and also a grounds keeper in a golf cart. There was also this runner who asked me what the building was, which seemed odd since he seemed like he lived in the area. That might have just been us being paranoid.
This went on the whole time. There might have been a time where we almost made a run for it, but we decided against it. Instead I decided to take outside photos of the building. This might be the last time I see this building and I wanted to make the best of it. While taking photos, a few things happen. Throughout my whole visit people would walk up to me or if they were driving by pull up to me. They would ask what is to come of Greystone or when and leave disappointed. Every single person was in disgust to see this beautiful structure go.
As for the cops, I guess when one sees three guys featuring a beard and tattoos, they call the state police. However, he was a very nice guy. He told me I can photograph up to the fence, but don’t go behind it. He didn’t want to chase me, even though they are prepared for when people do hop the fence. I did pry into the future state of Greystone. He did tell me that in a few weeks a bigger fence will be put up and they will start to clean out the lead paint and asbestos. This will take a couple of months, but by then it will be winter and then demolition will start in the spring. He did say that there was no chance of anyone coming in and saving the place. It has already been set that Greystone will be taken down.
The fence patrolman said the same thing, but that the fence will be high enough that you won’t be able to see over it. Also the fence will cover the entire campus and people won’t be able to get close at all. He was actually sad to see Greystone go and like me, wishes they keep the main building. I guess things do come to an end. However who knows, like everything else, especially in New Jersey, maybe they will start and never finish. Maybe the current Governor will leave and the next Governor will pull the funding. Who knows? All I know is, this might have been the last time I see this beautiful structure. I am happy that on my second visit, I took maps of each floor. I never take from abandon places because I feel it is a graveyard, but knowing Greystone’s fate I took some to frame. If this was the last time, it was fun. Greystone was my first insane asylum to photograph and unlike the patients, I was always trying to get back in.
“Your soul is for them to keep,
But your history is yours and yours alone,
The footsteps of your ghosts will be a constant reminder,
You are now able to rest.”