As a lady in the city, you hear the name Bloomingdale’s, our minds, of course, go only to one place. The most fashionable shopping mecca in New York City, in the Upper East Side.
However a long long time ago, 1821 to be precise, there was a much – haha – MUCH different Bloomy’s that people would visit.
The part of town I am referring to is what we now know as Columbia University territory. However, when the University was 50 blocks in its former location, here then existed ‘the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum’ covering 38 acres of farmland! This was the ‘first mental hospital in the state’. Who knew?? not me! The hospital first catered up to 200 people but then finally only to the wealthy and elite of society. In 1840 the hospital moved to Roosevelt Island and in 1892 the land was sold to the University for 2 million.
Now: Columbia Univ. (look to the middle bldg)
The hospital stood ‘exactly where Columbia’s Low Library is today’!
Today (below), this is the only remaining building from the asylum days, meet – Macy Villa. Built for the wealthiest male patients to stay.