The Old Main Psychiatric Center Hospital opened its doors to a public tour on Monday, August 25th at 5PM offering a crowd of more than 4 thousand an exclusive glimpse inside the historic iconic Utica landmark.

One of the most iconic historic landmarks in Utica is the 'Old Main' Utica Psychiatric Center Hospital. At more than 522 feet long, 52 feet deep and more than 48 feet high, the Old Main Psychiatric Center Hospital first opened its doors in 1843. The state hospital served the public until its closure in 1978. Over the years the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica has opened the doors of many of the historic landmarks to small public tours. Old Main last opened its doors in 2010 to a crowd of only 800 individuals that were given the opportunity to see inside the iconic landmark.

The Landmarks Society was not prepared for the turnout that happened when they opened the doors to Old Main for a public tour on August 25th at 5PM.

Old Main Psych Center Line
Phil Nye/TSM

Traffic was congested so badly around the Old Main Psych Center that it took better than 45 minutes to travel from Court Street to York Street with most averaging only a block in a half-hour after 5PM.

Once on the property, the line for the tour stretched down the driveway of Old Main curving up the side of the building, continuing past the fences onto the lawns behind the building where parking was taking place up and down the rows of parked cars and ending somewhere back on the far side of the grounds. The line itself stretched for at least a quarter-mile.

After waiting in line for more than half-an-hour, we had moved closer to the building but still had not had the opportunity to see the front of the line which was still somewhere around the front of Old Main.

Old Main Psych Center Back
Phil Nye/TSM

Interview With Landmarks Society

Continuing the journey after a 3 hour wait in line just to wind our way around to the front of Utica's Old Main Psych Center we were finally within sight of the grand entrance. Some participants suffered exhaustion waiting in line and emergency services were called however many individuals were eagerly anticipating the first glimpse inside the Utica landmark.

Interview With Tour Participants

Many were excited to see inside the iconic 'Old Main' Utica Psychiatric Hospital for the first time and despite the nearly 3 hour wait nearly 4 thousand individuals had the opportunity to see inside for the first time since 2010.

Tour Inside Utica's Old Main

Since the Utica Psychiatric Center 'Old Main' is still under the care of New York State and the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica, a great many individuals were forced to leave when the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center staff following regulations began to close the doors to the center at a little past 8PM. Landmarks Society worked to great length to keep attendees moving through the building but in the end the doors closed with many hundreds that waited hours in line still outside.

The Landmarks Society Of Greater Utica had printed approximately 2,000 brochures explaining the history of the Utica State Hospital however, after only 30 minutes they had run out. It is estimated that there were more than 4,000 people in attendance and after the doors closed it is uncertain of when the building will permit its doors to be opened to the public again.


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