Greystone Oral Histories

Historians, Preservationists and Documentarians

 

Preservation advocates, local historians, academicians, and journalists provide a timeline of Greystone’s historical architecture, from its inception to its demolition. Greystone Oral History Project Advisor Dr. Robert Kirkbride highlights the significance of Greystone in the national campaign to preserve other Kirkbride Plan hospitals.


 

 

Butch Acker – A Frequent Visitor to Numerous Greystone Buildings
During his child and teen years, Butch accompanied his father, the Greystone Fire Chief to perform fire inspections throughout the hospital campus. Butch shares his encyclopedic knowledge of the structure and use of various buildings.


 

 

Marge Brady, Local History Researcher (Morris County, NJ)
Marge shares the little known history of George Vail, a Morristown industrialist, who was the driving force behind the establishment of Greystone.


 

 

Kurt Hirschberg, Architect
Kurt discusses his arduous and successful efforts to place the only section of Greystone, its gas plants, on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.


John Huebner, President (2013-2015), Preserve Greystone
John tells the inspiring story of the grassroots advocacy group, Preserve Greystone, and their efforts to preserve the last of the former Greystone buildings.  The necessity of historic preservation and the value of repurposing buildings is discussed in depth.


Ted Hussa, Co-Founder of Preserve Greystone, Former Mayor of Denville
Ted chronicles the early stages of growing community concern regarding potential demolition of a local iconic landmark, Greystone Hospital’s Main building.  He describes the beginnings of the advocacy group, Preserve Greystone and analyzes some of the barriers the group faced.


William Needham, Vice President of Preserve Greystone
William focuses on his interactions with state agencies and policymakers to try to secure the critically important status of Greystone Hospital as historically significant architecture.


Jody Johnson, Aerial Photographer
Jody talks about her inspiration and technique in making the award winning video “Greystone Rising” which offers a unique perspective from the sky of Greystone’s Main Building being demolished and then “reconstructed”.


Dr. Robert Kirkbride, Dean of Parsons School of Constructed Environments, Associate Professor of Architecture and Product Design, and Spokesperson of Preservation Works.
Dr. Kirkbride provides a fascinating scholarly overview of Greystone’s architectural and cultural significance, the efforts to save it, and its legacy for other historic psychiatric institutions.


Rod Leith, Daily Record of Morristown (1974-1977) Reporter
                   The Record of Hackensack (1977-1989) Reporter
As a veteran of reporting on psychiatric hospitals, Rod recounts his focus on the management of Greystone and its treatment of patients.  Rod also describes his coverage of the advent of deinstitutionalization and its impact on Greystone patients and the local community


Mark Moran, Co-Founder of Weird NJ
Weird NJ introduced Greystone and the efforts to document and preserve it to the magazine’s numerous readers.  Mark also talks about the urban explorer and paranormal investigation communities’ interests in the hospital.


 

Dr. Anil Nanda, Chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Medical Schools and Hospitals.
Dr. Nanda examines the history of psychosurgery and Columbia University’s research on Greystone patients who received lobotomies.



 

Dr. Carla Yanni, PhD, Professor, Department of Art History, Rutgers, The State University of NJ
Dr. Yanni, the author of The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States gives a detailed overview of the architectural and social history of psychiatric hospitals in the United States, including Greystone Hospital.