State School for the Mentally Retarded

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State School for the Mentally Retarded

Perspective Rendering of Play Court

Drawings   118  browse all »

SK Drawing Set
Residence and Main Bldg. Panel Sections
Door Finish Schedule, Buildings I and II

In March of 1969, the Health and Mental Hygiene Facilities Improvement Corporation hired Marcel Breuer and Associates to design “a new state school for the mentally retarded” in Hempstead, Long Island. The facility needed to accommodate 500 children and adolescents. Breuer and his partner Tician Papachristou, designed a complex consisting of three groupings of cross-shaped buildings connected by long, covered walkways to a central rectangular building with a larger interior courtyard. The peripheral buildings were dominated by sleeping quarters and related medical facilities. The central building contained a large cafeteria for residents along with bowling alleys, classrooms, counseling areas, communal spaces and administrative offices. The palate of materials included precast concrete window panels accented by split-face block masonry. Breuer’s firm completed the construction drawings for the complex but reduced state funding and changes in the approach to caring for the developmentally disabled halted the project before it could be built.