One of northern New Jersey's former architectural landmarks is slated to be demolished in the next few months.
Representatives of the state Department of the Treasury visited the site of the closed Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany on Friday. They tell The Daily Record that the campus will be knocked down "in a matter of months'' to make way for park land.
That includes the 678,000-square-foot Kirkbride Building, which opened in 1876 and was considered the largest poured-concrete structure in the U.S. until the construction of the Pentagon.
Treasury spokesman Joseph Perone told the newspaper, "We must conclude, after extensive study, that the best option is to take down the building and fully remediate the property so it can be returned to public use as open space and park land as soon as possible.''
The decaying facilities were ordered closed more than a dozen years ago by then-Gov. Christie Whitman due to dwindling numbers of patients and incidents of on-campus assaults and prisoner escapes. Many of the buildings have already been razed.
Some companies have proposed other uses for the site, including building housing. But the state concluded last year that none of the proposals was feasible.
Local preservationists also have tried to find other uses for the Kirkbride building to avoid its demolition.
"We won't give up,'' Adam McGovern of the nonprofit group Preserve Greystone told the newspaper. "We feel this administration has done more in three years than previous administrations did in decades, but we feel they did not let their own process play out sufficiently.''