When I first started exploring these places I admired the things left behind but I never took them with me. It wasn't until I went back to the Nassau County Sanatorium, which had become a frequent place for us to visit, that I realized I needed to preserve what was left inside. This former tuberculosis hospital had hundreds of patient x-rays pouring out of boxes stacked on the shelves of a closet in the medical wing on the far end of the hospital. Along with those x-rays we found intake forms, visitation sheets, incident reports and even records relating to patient deaths. We spent hours looking through what we found and even came back at night to show one of our friend the "treasure" we found. One of my biggest regrets is taking that place for granted and counting on it to be there the next time I came to explore.
A few months later I packed my camera and little backpack with gear and made my way to my usual spot where I parked and walked onto the property only to find it was fenced off looked nothing like how I remembered it. Construction equipment was scattered across the property, patrol cars were guarding the access roads, and multiple sections of the building were gone.
I froze when I reached the gate at the side access road. When I looked up and saw only one fourth of the structural landscape I had seen just a few months ago, that's when it hit me. Everything that we found was gone, they destroyed the wing that held so many artifacts from the 1930s to the 1960s. The developers decided that building condominiums were more important than preserving history so from that moment on I decided that I would take it upon myself to preserve history.
Below are just some of the scanned documents and photos of artifacts I've found throughout my recent exploration. I currently have everything saved inside a binder with sheet protectors in hopes of preserving them to my best ability.
A parts inventory sheetfound in the engineering office of building 29 at Kings Park Psychiatric Center
A machinery diagram found in the engineering office of building 29 at Kings Park Psychiatric Center
Chemical inventory sheet found on the upstairs steel catwalk of building 29 at Kings Park Psychiatric Center
Pages that had been ripped out of a book of psychologic diagnosis in the Letchworth Village main hospital building