KPPC HISTORY .com 
Kings Park Psychiatric Center

                                  
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 Buildings A B C D
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1   Patient Wards
2   Patient Wards
3   Employees Home
5   Work Shop
6   Power Plant
7   Medical Bldg
8   Building A
9   Building B
10 Building C
11 Building D
15 Patient Wards
18 Family Houses
19 Family Houses
21 22 Admissions
23 Recreation Ctr
27 Cemetery
27 Reservoir
29 Power Plant
31 Bowling Lanes
32 Club House
35 Staff Dorm
36 Nurses Home
37 Staff Dorm
38 Tailor Shop
39 Continue Therapy
40 Infirmary
41 42 43 - Group 4
44 Storehouse
45 Water Tower
46 Root Cellar
46 Farm Out Bldg
47 Pig Pens
47 Dairy Barn
48 Grounds Bldg
49 Drís House
52 School
56 Community Store
57 Repair Shop
58 Ice House
59 Power Plant
60 Shoe Shop
60 Pump House
61 Shed
62 Grounds Maint
65 Green House
66 Sewage Plant
67 Directors House
68 Garage
69 Green House
70 Hot Beds
71 Six Car Garage
72 Tool House
74 Mechanics House
75 Garage
76 Garage
77 Chief Engineer
78 Staff Housing
80 York Hall
81 Chemical House
82 Mortuary
83 Fire House
84 Pump House
85 Pump House
86 Blacksmith Shop
89 Bathrooms
88 Slaughter House
90 Macy Hall
91 Garage
92 Tiffany Field
93 Patient Wards
94 Laundry Bldg
95 Drís Cottage
96 Drís Cottage
97 Drís Cottage
98 Drís Cottage
99 Drís Cottage
100 Drís Cottage
101 Drís Cottage
122 Female Wards
123 Dinning Hall
124 Female Wards
151 Patient Housing
152 Patient Housing
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40. Infirmary
Built 1932

Originally built as an Infirmary for the Group II female patient wards it was used later during the 1950's  to house
children and then became part of the MRU section of the Kings Park State Hospital from 1974 - 1980 when they were moved to LIDC. After that closed a staff Day Care Center for children of employee's was opened

Mental Retardation Units - MRU


                                                                                     c.1996


Front Entrance and day room

I worked in Group 2, Bldg 40 (Ward 50), than Bldg. 124 (Ward 53; changed to Ward 854) from Jan 1976 to Aug 1981. I worked evening shift in 124 from Dec 1976 until the Unit closed. Group 2 was the MR Unit at the time, but the Unit closed in 1980 and moved to SDC in Melville.
                                                                                                    - Barry


The entrance led in to the day room then there was a hallway with a toilet and washroom on the right

The MR Unit came under jurisdiction of Suffolk Developmental Center (former Suffolk State School) in 1979. At that time, all new employees for the Unit came from there, as did all administration, except for food and laundry. I was ward charge of Ward 854 (former 53) when Bldg. 124 was closed and we relocated to Bldg. 40 for a number of months while new facilities at SDC were readied.

When the MR Unit closed in 1980, the patients were sent to various group homes around LI and to SDC along with remaining staff. I went to SDC and was in charge of a group home on the periphery of the property on evening shift until I started work at Grumman. (I was attending college during the time I worked at KPSH).

We usually had one or two doctors assigned to cover the MR Unit, as I recall, but others would cover on call in case of emergency (i.e. stitches or stat medicine).

One doctor that I specifically remember was from Bermuda or Bahamas. English accent. He had to do an internship at a U.S. public facility before being allowed to practice in the U.S. He did the best stitching job I had ever seen there. He was a real nice fellow, very conversant. I wish I remembered his name, but I met him only the one time when he stitched up the head of one of our patients.
                                                                                                       - Barry


One of the two porches to the day room

There is the rock just to the left side of the walkway to the front door of Bldg. 40. It is now hemmed in by a bunch of trees.

Back in the late 1970s, while working evening shift on Ward 53, we acquired some latex paint for murals on the walls inside Bldg. 124. Some months later, after some mental lubrication, I took a bucket of yellow paint and a brush and disappeared outside.

I began to paint some immortal words on the rock when I heard a door open and close in Bldg. 122. I hid behind the rock until I noticed Kevin walking toward Bldg. 40. I stepped out to greet him as he approached the rock. He approved of the work and requested the paint and brush to add something.

While we signed out after our shift at 11:30 that night, everyone was gathered around the rock, with headlights illuminating it.

Well, when I returned for work on the following afternoon, Kim, the administrative clerk, ran outside to tell me what had transpired. It just happened to be "Parents Day" for the patients. Kim said that, when they walked up the hill from behind Bldg. 123 to sign in in Bldg. 40, the rising sun perfectly illuminated the rock and the bright yellow painted words. She even ran home to get her instamatic camera and took pictures of it. "The Rock" then became the focus of conversation in the MR Unit. The administrators even had the cleaners try to scrub off the lettering before the parents arrived, to no avail.

The writing on "The Rock" stated:

"BUZZARD HEAD
WELCOME TO
KPDC
HOME OF
FALK THE F**k"

"Falk" was the name of the Nurse Administrator for the Unit. Kevin added "Buzzard Head", which was what one of our patients called Norman, our evening shift supervisor.
                                                                                                                       - Barry



Outside Wall of Left Wing


One of the old dorm rooms in the middle of the left wing later used for day care


Rear of Left Wing


Gate leading in to the fenced in playground and basketball court. Ramp and door to end of left wing.


Playground in the back of the building between the two wings


Court yard side of the left wing and rear on main section


This room had been used as a Beauty Parlor at one time


Laundry room in back of the main building between the two wings 1


There had been a dummy waiter system for transporting the soiled laundry to the small basement laundry room


Laundry room in back of the main building between the two wings 3


Playground and court yard side of the right wing


Large dorm room on right wing


Large room on right wing looking back towards second to last room



Second to last dorm room on the right wing with an old cart left behind after cleaning the place out in the 1990's.
 

Last dorm room on the right wing. Is that that padding on the doors?


Last room on the right wing


Looking at the inside court yard from the rear corner of the right wing

The female patient ward in the Unit was situated in Bldg. 40 at the time. The weather was perfect on this particular summer late afternoon. The attendants from Ward 854 (53) had the patient hanging out in the shade of the big oaks between 124 and 40 while we played Wiffleball against the wall of 40. All the other wards had their patients hanging around between 122 and 40.
                                                                                                                                  - Barry


Playground outside front entrance on left wing side


Playground outside front entrance on left wing side


Playground outside front entrance on left wing side


Playground outside front entrance on left wing side


Playground outside front entrance on left wing side and building 122 can be seen right behind it


Background for Lionel Model Train Layout - Picture LI Oddities


In one of the basement rooms there was a small Lionel train layout for the patients - Picture Kings Park Heritage Museum

One community placement specialist recalls closing day at MRU, she can remember the day as Sept 30th 1988.

They were moving the remaining clients to Old South Path Homes, newly rehabilitated, former doctor houses, just on the outskirts of the then Long Island Developmental Center, previous called Suffolk State School. The state required that the clients be removed from Group 2 no later then midnight of the 30th. In anticipation of this move the state put a halt to maintenance on the buildings of group 2 several years earlier.

There was concern of the staff about moving the MRU clients because they had not received any training on fire drills or prepared for the new setting; most of them had spent their entire life in an institutional setting and never been in a small group home before.

The staff from LIDC were allowed to begin the move at 5pm that day, no or little preparations had been made. The people from LIDC began to pack the clients belongings in plastic garbage bags. She went on to say that at that time conditions had deteriorated, the roof was leaking and several of the ceilings were falling down and a general sense of decay had taken over the place.

The client were in shock, not sure of anything which was going on. After a few hours all was packed up, they received the OK to leave, loaded the clients in the van and headed across the island to the new group home.

When the clients arrived at their new home which just a few months back was a private home, they became responsive, the whole attitude changed, they were excited and almost looked, (please forgive me), normal. They entered the near brand new home to begin their new life.

------------------------------------

Steve, as you might remember, I worked at the MRU from 01/02/76 until it closed; I then worked for one year at LIDC with the patients we shipped there.

The MR Unit closed in September 1980, not 1988.

For about two years prior to the closing, a Transitional Living Unit (TLU) was set up on the south end of the second floor of Bldg. 124; it was essentially a self-contained apartment. My ward was on the ground floor. They took the highest functioning patients and tried to teach them some advanced ADL skills in preparation for moving into community residences (group homes). The highest functioning patients were actually filtering out by 1979-80. Those that remained (which was the great majority) were those that could never hold a job in the community. The higher functioning of those patients were destined to move to a group home in the woods in Old Field. The others were sent to three group homes on the periphery of LIDC in Melville. The lowest functioning went to one of the ward cottages in LIDC.

When the MR Unit closed in 1980, I was evening shift Ward Charge of Ward 854 (prior name Ward 53). I then became charge of the evening shift in the first home on Old South Path (the white house, which I believe might have originally been a farm house). I was there for one year.

Regarding the condition of the buildings in the MR Unit at KPSH: those buildings were in excellent condition in 1980 and could have stood for another 100 years, if maintained. I have never heard of a single water leak from any ceiling. Paint was not peeling anywhere. Somebody is pulling your leg on that account. I spent much time inside all four buildings there (122, 123, 124, and 40), including the tunnels and attics (don't ask). Solid as a rock. The floors were made of wood, as was the plaster lath, so the state decided that all such buildings must be abandoned by a certain time.

Regarding the patients that went to the LIDC group homes: again, the patients that were transferred there would never be able to function "normally" in society. They were completely dependent on the assistance of the MHTAs (attendants) for preparing meals, preparing clothing, and all other aspects of life. Remember, the highest functioning patients were long ago moved to community residences and they were able to hold menial jobs. The patients in Old Field and the three LIDC group homes and cottage were at the same functional level as they were at KPSH. It is simply a matter of IQ. If they were able to follow commands at KPSH, they were able to do the same at LIDC, no more, no less. If they looked "normal" at LIDC, they looked "normal" at KPSH.

If there are any questions that I might be able to address, I would be glad to do so.

---- BARRY

----------

Just spoke to another lady who stopped by the museum, Liz , who said she knows you. She worked at the MRU unit at the time of the closing and she puts the date at 1980 as you said, she also reported that the conditiion of the buildings are as you said, in general, good condition. She said that although MRU was in KPPC, she said that the MRU unit was responsible to LIDC and when they made the move to wolf hill road, she went over to the cottages there. She now works with special ed children in a local school district. She said she spent most of the time working in the kitchen.

She also went on to say that after that the building was used as a day care center up until what she believe was the early '90s although she said she couldnt be certain.
______________

Ok , I recieve this additional information from the lady who provided the information for the start of this post., this is what she wrote:




Almost every detail that you provided rings true---and I apologize if in my haste to reconstruct the dates I misplaced the closing of the MR unit at KPPC by quite a few years. I was pretty sure that it was a Friday, so when the year of 1988 came up on the computer, I choose that.

I have been retired almost 15 years now----so past dates sometimes seem just to be numbers. Can you remember the month that the last group of MR people left KPPC? Once again, I apologize and thanks for helping out in that area.

I remember the Old Field residents and the clients that went there as I did visit there on occasion.

The clients who went to Old South Path, and the ones that I am speaking about, I believe tested in the low severe to profound range. I do remember that prior to the move, when we went to screen the clients for placement; we saw them in homelike surroundings.

We did not look at their bedrooms. The day that we moved them, however, it was from an area that was much different than the one we previously saw and the one that you describe. We were in a bedroom, packing clothes into black plastic bags, and there was plaster on the floor and some fell from the ceiling in our presence.

Could they have moved this very last group from their regular area to this ďtemporaryĒ area just prior to their leaving for KPPC? I was from the Community Placement Unit and we were held over that afternoon to provide this service because last attempt to get Albany to extend the date of placement failed. Clients had to be placed by midnight, the last day of the month for our agency to be in compliance.

The place where we picked the clients up was definitely terrible---There was plaster on the floor and some additional fell from the ceiling while we were there. There was not any KPPC staff to assist, and the clients were not present as we packed the clothes into black plastic bags. This particular move may have been out of the norm, but thatĎs the way it was.

We were all shocked by the condition and now I am heartened by the information that you provided stating this was not the way it was for the time that they resided at KPPC.

____________________

Steve, thanks for the update. I was amongst the last group that left the MRU on that last day. There were a number of state vans provided to move the patients. Those that went to Old Field left sometime before we left. We boarded the vans in front of Bldg. 40.

As I recall, the TLU (upstairs on the south end of Bldg. 124) was closed as a functioning unit some time before the MR Unit closed, as any patients that might have derived some benefit from such a program were long gone. In fact, Bldg. 124 was closed as a functioning building some months before the Unit closed.

The "bedrooms" (actually called dormatories) in Bldgs. 122 and 124 had suspended ceilings of acoustic tile. The older ceilings resided above those. Now, I remember that those old ceilings did not match those in very old photos of the dormatories. The originals had some type of molded features, which the state likely tore away when they installed the suspended ceilings. Of course, the hidden ceilings were not maintained once the suspended ceilings were put in place. Some of the acoustic tiles were knocked out by ball-playing on the wards; therefore, it is feasible that some of the original ceiling might have been falling apart, especially after Bldg. 124 was abandoned earlier in 1980. As I recall, Bldg. 124 was vandalized after we left it (and moved into Bldg. 40), but I do not know the extent of the damage, other than some broken window panes.

If you see Liz again, ask her if she remembers the snowball fights we had with the kitchen guys.

--BARRY

_______

Found another MRU alumnus, a nurse Nicknamed "Hock", she worked in the MRU from 5/78/ to 2/82, she said the Willowbrook Unit, then she went to pilgrim and worked unil 91, then she went into general nursing after that as an agency nurse. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to speak with her a bit more next time she is in the area.
 
 

 

 

Links to other sites for building 40

LI Oddities

                                
        Veterans
        Memorial

            Map

          Doctors

39 Patient Wards
53 Pump House
55 Marina
125 Administration
126 Family Housing
127 Family Housing
128 Family Housing
129 Family Housing
130 Cottage F
131 Cottage G
132 Cottage H
133 Cottage I
134 Cottage J
135 Convalescent
136/137 Medical / Surgical
138 Patient Wards
139 Dinning Hall
140 Crises Housing
142 Elderly Living
143 Patient Wards
144 Staff Housing
147 Patient Wards

Reservoir
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Well House 1
Well House 2
Well House 3
Well House 4
Well House 5
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Tennis Courts

Sand Shed

Oil Tanks

Indian Head Rd Cemetery

Fire Hydrants

Field Relics

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   1990's Pictures
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   KPPC LINKS

Wikipedia
KP Museum
LI Oddities
Opacity
Lost In Time
Hours of Darkness
Sean Hopkins 1
Sean Hopkins 2
Chris Marshall
S Albalux
Hospital Data
KingsCountyAsylum
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   Other Websites
  By Robert A Saal

Long Island History

 Commack History
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