This particular article from The New York Times discusses the creation of the Kings County Lunatic Asylum located at Flatbush, New York. This building would eventually become part of the Long Island State Hospital.
“The New Lunatic Asylum – On Saturday last, some of the Board of Supervisors went to view the site selected by the Special Committee to whom the matter was referred, for the erection of this institution.
After a discussion which has occupied the Board ever since the passage of the bill by the Legislature authorizing them to raise the necessary funds, this report was adopted, and the Committee authorized to treat with the owner upon terms so nearly equal to those upon which he offered to sell, that there is every reason to hope this too long deferred undertaking will immediately be seen about in right earnest.
The lamentable condition of some of the inmates of the present wooden structure at Flatbush, owning to the over crowded state of the building, has been fully brought to public notice in the late proceedings of the Board of Supervisors. Raving maniacs are confined in cells so circumscribed in space and accommodation, that they cannot be restrained from inflicting serious violence upon each other – and placed in rooms overlooking the public highway exposed to the unthinking mockery of the passing idler, frequently exciting their already merely disorganized imaginations to a state of raving madness.
The site selected for the New Building is at the extreme end of the City, in the VIIIth Ward, bounded by 58th-st., and the Third Avenue, and the New Utrecht line. The contents are about forty acres, affording ample accommodation; and the view commanded cannot be excelled in the whole county. The entire Bay, the Ocean, Staten Island, and the cities of New York and Brooklyn are fully comprehended within its range.
There have been a great many conflicting interests at work on this subject, but the price has been the only objection to the site in question, and that by those who recommend one two miles further from the city boundary, confessedly not possessing the same advantages, and the difference in price not exceeding $100 an acre, for one portion, and $200 for the other.
An objection is raised that the avenues will be blocked by this site, and that the projected Fifty-ninth-street bisects it. On the other hand it is urged, and truly, that the effect will only be to shorten the avenues by one block, the location being the extremity of the city, and the Third-avenue and the one on the other extremity will be quite sufficient outlet for the traffic to New-Utrecht and with regard to Fifty-ninth-street, that the Corporation would not permit it to be opened, even if there was any one to apply, which there is not, as they will themselves own the whole projected line, except a short distance to the Bay, on which the owner’s private house stands. If the question is carried, the building (according to the plans submitted and approved,) so placed would be an ornament and credit to the county. And we ardently hope to see the undertaking carried out, and that a few hundred dollars will not prove a stumbling block in the way of so desirable an object.”
SOURCE: The New York Times. Published: October 7, 1851, Copyright @ The New York Times.
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