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The Manhattan Psychiatric Center is a New York-state run psychiatric hospital on Wards Island in New York City. As of 2009, it was licensed for 509 beds, but held only around 200 patients. The current building is 17 stories tall.[1] The building strongly resembles that of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens.

Manhattan Psychiatric Center
New York State Office of Mental Health
Manhattan Psychiatric Center NY1.jpg
The main building of the Manhattan Psychiatric Center from the Harlem River in 2017
LocationNew York City, New York, United States
FundingPublic hospital
ListsHospitals in New York



The hospital's roots date to 1848 when Wards Island was designated the reception area for immigrants. Some additional structures were originally part of Blackwell's Island Lunatic Asylum, which opened around 1863.[2] The New York City Asylum for the Insane opened in 1863.[3]

The building was significantly enlarged in 1871, and a Kirkbride Plan style building was built. After the immigration entry shifted to Ellis Island in 1892, the state took it over from Manhattan in 1899 and expanded it even further, renaming it the Manhattan State Hospital.[3] At the time, it had 4,400 beds and was the largest psychiatric hospital in the world.[4]

At the time, it was one of two psychiatric hospitals for residents of Manhattan that had been taken over by the state. The other psychiatric hospital would become the Central Islip Psychiatric Center in Central Islip, New York. Both hospitals were referred to as "Manhattan State Hospital".

It later became the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. The current building complex was constructed in 1954. [5] The facility is run and operated by the New York State Office of Mental Health.


The site is surrounded by Wards Island Park, which is administered by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.[4]

There is a Manned VTS Vessel Traffic Service Radar on one of the Original Hospital buildings: VTS Randalls Island, Manned VTS.

Notable patientsEdit


  1. ^ "Manhattan Psychiatric Center - New York, NY", Hospital Data website
  2. ^ Richmond, John Francis (25 May 1871). "New York and Its Institutions, 1609-1871". E.B. Treat. Retrieved 25 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, "Wards Island Park" [1]
  4. ^ a b "Wards Island Park - Historical Sign". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
  5. ^ "Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  6. ^ "Mabel Boll Dies. 'Diamond Queen'. Bartender's Daughter Owned Fabulous Gems. Balked in Efforts to Fly Atlantic". New York Times. April 12, 1949. Mrs. Mabel Boll Cella, who wanted to be Queen of the Air when the world knew her as the Queen of Diamonds, died Sunday of a stroke in Manhattan State Hospital for the mentally ill on Wards Island.

External linksEdit