For release: April 10, 2015
Binghamton University takes on stewardship of the 'Castle'
BINGHAMTON, NY – Today Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, along with Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, announced that the University has taken on stewardship of Binghamton's Castle, the former New York State Inebriate Asylum.
“We will oversee the preservation of the building and are currently working with Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo to acquire the additional funds necessary to further develop the property,” Stenger said.
This classic Binghamton landmark, located on the grounds of the New York State Office of Mental Health's Greater Binghamton Health Center on Robinson Street, serves as the only national historic landmark in the Broome County area. Out of 160 total historical landmarks in New York State, the Castle is known to be one of the most historic sites.
“Although the 85,000-square-foot building has sat vacant since 1993, the structure is in remarkably good condition,” Lupardo said. “We have been able to reallocate the $12.45 million, initially secured for SUNY Update Medical, to Binghamton University for phase one of the rehabilitation project.”
“The Castle is a vital piece of Binghamton’s history, in both its architecture and the role it served within the region. It is my hope that the Castle will continue its legacy of valuable public service under the guidance of Binghamton University, in what will surely be a novel reuse of this wonderful property,” said New York State Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Marie T. Sullivan. “I extend my sincerest thanks to Assemblywoman Lupardo for her continued and steadfast efforts to preserve this Binghamton landmark.”
The former New York State Inebriate Asylum was designed by Isaac Perry in 1858 and was the very first facility in America developed for the medical treatment of alcoholism. Built during Binghamton’s earlier years, this facility brought local and national attention to a city that was primarily focused on revitalization. Perry, who would become a prominent architect in New York, would later design many buildings, including the State Capitol.
“This facility is rich with history, and with some creative imagination this could be home to a number of important initiatives for Binghamton University and the Southern Tier, “ Stenger said.