NJ Travel Travelogues

Overbrook Asylum

As we neared Verona on the West Essex Trail this last Sunday, an ominious sound was heard in the distance. A muffled thumping, it got louder and louder as we went, until we realized it was the Verona High School Marching Band rehearsing.

But I digress. And so did we, up a side trail to the grounds of the former Overbrook Asylum, a mental hospital closed several decades ago.

It’s a prime example of the Beautiful Decay school of photojournalism, and who am I to say “no” when presented with something like this?

The first thing we saw was the ballfield.

The property could be a set for a post-nuclear-holocaust movie, one where all the people suddenly disappear, leaving their picnic tables under the spreading Beech tree.

Recreation was clearly important, the whole back-end of the lot was devoted to it.

But it was all densely overgrown.

The parking lot.

A passageway between buildings.

I got the sense that this corner was an administrative wing. I don’t know why.

A few more architectural details:

Weird NJ has a long article on this outpost of a vanished mental health regime.

[googleMap name=”Overbrook Site” description=”Former Hospital” width=”450″ mousewheel=”false” typecontrol=”false” directions_to=”false”]Fairview Ave., Cedar Grove, NJ[/googleMap]

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