The George Rosenfeld Center for Recovery
The story of this 100-year-old building is one of realizing potential, learning from the past, and creating a new place of sanctuary. Its story, like those of the people who come here for help with substance abuse and related problems, is also a symbol of endurance and overcoming the odds.
Built in 1915 as a hospital for psychiatric patients, the structure has seen several changes of use as mental health treatment evolved and scientific advances have ushered in new ways of caring for people with mental illness. At one time, The New York State Research Institute for Neurochemistry and Drug Addiction was located at the site, and when the researchers departed in the early 1970s, they left behind laboratory equipment and supplies in what was to become an abandoned wing of the building.
But the building didn’t stay empty for long. In 1973, faced with a heroin epidemic and urgent demands for treatment, New York State gave Odyssey House permission to run a Therapeutic Community treatment center in the section of the building not used by the research institute. It was here Odyssey House established the first residential treatment center for pregnant women and women with young children, at what became known as the Mabon (Mothers and Babies off Narcotics).
It was also here that, as we helped thousands of people rebuild their lives, we nurtured dreams of renovating the entire building and creating a modern treatment center equipped with programs and services proven to help address behavioral health problems.
Now, as we care for a new generation of vulnerable people, we remember how we got here and share with you some images of a reclamation project decades in the making.