and dome of Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello were said to have inspired the classically
designed fieldstone buildings designed by notable architect William Welles
Boworth at Letchworth Village, a treatment center for developmentally disabled
individuals. Bosworth's connection likely came through his association with Frank Vanderlip,
first President of the Board of Managers; Bosworth also worked on Vanderlip's
Scarborough estate "Beechwood."
Construction began in 1911 but completion of the original design did not occur until the early 1930s. The institution was planned as a “farm colony,” whereby patients were put to work raising animals and growing food. Superintendent Charles S. Little told the New York Times: “In order to make this plan a success, it is necessary to begin to train the feeble minded when they are children. The feeble minded, if taken at an early age . . . can be trained to do things better than if the education of which they are capable is postponed until the less pliable years.” The site was named for William Pryor Letchworth, who served on the New York State Board of Charities from 1873 to 1896.
The facility closed on March 31, 1996, but administrative offices remained open until 2002. The campus sprawls across the boundaries of the towns of Stony Point and Haverstraw. Some of the buildings located within Stony Point have been adaptively-reused, while much of the Haverstraw section is neglected. A development proposal for the property known as Encore Haverstraw envisions 550 single-family townhouses, an inn and restaurant, and retail space.
UPDATE - DECEMBER 12, 2006: Stewart Hall, one of the buildings at Letchworth Village planned for reuse for a condominium development, burned on December 6, 2006. It appears that demolition of the remaining structures may begin in early 2007. (Source Article: "Fire guts building at Letchworth Village; video." The Journal News, December 7, 2006. By Sarah Netter.)
These photographs were taken over two visits in January and July
2005. Power Plant
James F. Reville Building
Letchworth Village - 2005
Letchworth Village - 2014
This page copyright © 2005 by Robert J.Yasinsac.
Reproduction of these photos without the permission of Robert Yasinsac is prohibited.