Seaview Hospital and the New York City Farm Colony
The Richmond County Poor Farm was established in the 1830's after the city acquired a 91 acre area called Stephen Marine farm. Over the next few years a cholera hospital and insane asylum were built along with housing for the poor. The residents worked on the farm in exchange for food and housing.
In 1902 the name of the farm was changed to the New York City Farm Colony. At this time the farm contained sixteen buildings, including dormitories, a dining and kitchen building, laundry and industrial building, shops, nurses residence and a morgue among others. The area also contained the Staten Island Potters Field and it was used as a cemetery till 1905.
Across the street from the Farm a 25 acre estate of Charles Schmidt known as Ocean View became the proposed location of a tuberculosis hospital in 1905. Seaview Hospital was opened on November 12, 1913 at this location.
The Farm merged with Seaview Hospital in 1915 and the entire area was renamed Seaview Farm, till 1921 when the merger ended. The Farm expanded throughout the 1930's and slowly became mostly an old age home. Seaview Hospital became the first tuberculosis hospital to have a maternity ward and led the country in the treatment and caring of TB patients. Research at the hospital would help end the tuberculosis epidemic.
In 1961 the Farm once again merged with Seaview Hospital, the hospital phasing out its tuberculosis wards and slowly becoming a geriatric hospital. By 1973 new buildings were opened at Seaview but many others became abandoned and are still deteriorating till this day. The residents of the the farm were moved to buildings within the hospital in 1975. In the 1980's and early 2000's sections of the Farm have been converted to baseball fields, but abandoned buildings can still be seen along the road.
A member of my family worked at Seaview Hospital in the 1980' s and at that time although she didn't experience anything personally she did hear stories from other workers stating that former patients still walked the halls and stairwells. She also told me that there are tunnels running under the buildings and at the time they laid there abandoned still containing artifacts from the time of the tuberculosis epidemic.