Group fights to save Greystone Sanitarium

Preserve Greystone is fighting to save the Greystone Sanitarium from being torn down.

Preserve Greystone is fighting to save the Greystone Sanitarium from being torn down. (4/1/15)

MORRIS PLAINS - Historical preservationists are trying to prevent a Morris County landmark from being torn down.

Preserve Greystone was created to preserve the Greystone Sanitarium in Morris Plains. It was once a state-of-the-art health care facility that was opened in 1876 so New Jersey could better care for the mentally ill. 

Patients started being moved to other facilities in the 1980s. The last of the administrative offices closed just a few years ago, and it has been sitting vacant ever since. Now it attracts tourists and photographers.

The building is set to be torn down in less than a week. The Preserve Greystone group is hoping to make a last ditch effort to save it.

“It’s an old building, but it's a classic. This is our White House. Our Buckingham Palace, whatever you want to say. There is nothing like it,” says Adam McGovern, who heads up the group.

McGovern and the group have been fighting against the New Jersey Treasury Department in court, trying to block the demolition.

Six different developers came forward with proposals for the building, including mixed-use residential to museums to wedding catering. 

A spokesman for the state treasury department says it explored the developers' proposals, but none made financial sense. The state will bond the $34 million needed for the demolition. The land will be turned into open space.  

According to the state Attorney General's office, demolition on Greystone is expected to begin Monday.

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