• Project: PreservationWorks
  • Date: 2014-present
  • Photography: Robert Kirkbride, Jacob Tellers, Christian VanAntwerpen, Crystal VanAntwerpen

By chance and fate, I am Spokesperson and a founding Trustee for PreservationWorks, a national advocacy organization of like-minded preservationists, urban explorers and concerned citizens committed to the preservation and adaptive reuse of Kirkbride Plan Hospitals. We share knowledge and resources that support local preservation efforts and educate the public on their historical and global significance. The design and layout of these egalitarian structures for the insane embodied the philosophy of Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride (1809-83) and the Enlightenment belief in the restorative influences of a beautiful built environment on mental well-being. In addition to my fascination with the mutual influences of cognition and design, I am related to Thomas Story Kirkbride, creator of the Kirkbride Plan and a founder of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, a precursor to the American Psychiatric Association. Adaptive reuse of these magnificent buildings is commonsense and achievable, strengthening economic growth and cultural identity in their respective communities.

For updates on PreservationWorks-related activities and projects, please visit my new blog on the PW website, Kirkbride on Kirkbrides.

Media + Interviews


Launch of PreservationWorks website with my personal blog, Kirkbride on Kirkbrides.


“The Stain,” chapter from Colin Dickey’s Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (Viking, 2016), which focuses on Kirkbride Plan Hospitals for the Insane and includes excerpts from Colin’s interview of me. (retrieved 3.4.2017)


“Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital Remembered 1 Year After Demolition,” Robert Sciarrino, NJ.post, 10.23.2016


“Greystone Panel, documentary on tap at Parsippany Library,” William Westhoven, Daily Record, 10.21.2016


“Panel to discuss Greystone,” Greg Hatala, The Star-Ledger, 10.13.2016


“New Book Captures Rise and Fall of Greystone,” Review of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, Daily Record, William Westhoven, 7/16/16


“The Lovely Bones: Renovating the Kirkbride Asylums Means Finding New Ways to Live With Old Ghosts,” Danny Penny, 4.6.2016


Greystone Rising, 2016 (Jody Johnson, film; Lisa Marie Blohm, editing; Christina Mathews, sound): voiceover excerpts from “Greystone’s Last Stand,” Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews. Received “Best in Category” for Architecture in the 2016 New York City Drone Film Festival (judged by Bjarke Ingels)


“Saving Bedlam: The Effort to Preserve the Country's Historic Mental Hospitals,” Dan Hurley, Newsweek 1.22.2016

Fergus Falls Journal

“’These are our castles’: Relative of asylum designer pays visit to Fergus Falls,” Jacob Tellers, Fergus Falls Journal (Cover story). 9.21.2015


“Opponents of Greystone demolition question safety procedures,” Kevin Couglin, MorristownGreen.com 6.1.2015

Fergus Falls Journal

“Kirkbride conference inspires local preservation efforts,” Fergus Falls Journal. 5.18.2015


“Greystone supporters gather in Morristown ahead of April 6 demolition,” Adam McGovern, MorristownGreen.com 4.2.2015


“Greystone’s Last Stand” – extended 15 minute trailer for a longer documentary produced by Rusty Tagliareni and Christina Mathews of Antiquity Echoes. Featuring an interview (at 6:40 – 8:00) on the cultural and architectural significance of preserving Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, in Morristown, NJ, built on the Kirkbride Plan in 1876 and demolished in 2015. 8.1.2014



Columbia University

  • Historic Preservation Lecture Series
  • The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane
  • November 2


National Building Museum

  • The Many Phantoms of the Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane
  • Lecture for the exhibit “Saint Elizabeth’s: The Architecture of an Asylum”
  • October 26


Glasgow, Scotland

  • Society of Architectural Historians 2017 International Conference
  • The Phantoms of Kirkbride Hospitals of the Insane
  • Session, “Architectural Ghosts”
  • June 7-11


The New School University: NYC

  • Forgetting
  • New Talks Faculty Lecture Series, inaugural event
  • November 10


Parsippany Public Library: Parsippany, NJ

  • Greystone Remembered
  • With book launch for Greystone State Park Asylum
  • Lectures + Panel conversation
  • October 22


Morbid Anatomy Museum: Brooklyn, NY

  • Book release: Greystone State Park Asylum
  • Panel conversation + video screening
  • With: Rusty Tagliareni, Christina Mathews, Yvonne Laube
  • September 19


Morbid Anatomy Museum: Brooklyn, NY

  • Kirkbride Hospitals for the Insane: Then, Now and ?
  • March 30


Fergus Falls Kirkbride Conference

  • Fergus Falls Kirkbride Conference: Fergus Falls, MN (INVITED)
  • Toward an Architecture of Well-being: The Castle on the Hill
  • September 17-20


#Preservationworks Conference

  • #Preservationworks Conference: Traverse City, MI (INVITED)
  • Historic Asylum Preservation Conference
  • Toward an Architecture of Well-being: Appreciating the Kirkbride Plan
  • April 25