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Location DB > United States > New Jersey > Skillman > North Princeton Developmental Center
North Princeton Developmental Center
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 Database Info
created by yaggy on 5/23/2005 4:52 AM
last modified by Rinzler on 4/5/2018 6:12 AM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
A 250-acre plot of ground
 Basic Information
Type: Buildings
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Moderate
Recommendation: drop everything - must see
 Physical Information

Skillman, New Jersey
United States
Owner: State of New Jersey
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • unsafe flooring
  • air quality
  •  Interesting Features
    - None
     Security Measures
  • welded doors
  • wooden boarding
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1898
    Closed: 1998
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  • breathing mask
  • gloves
  • long pants / sleeves
  •  Recommended Equipment
    camera, water
    Started as a village for epileptics.

    In Montgomery Township was a facility unique among New Jersey’s abandoned mental hospitals, as it was not originally conceived as an institution to house the mentally ill—its original purpose was the research and treatment of epilepsy. Over the past 100 years, the facility has been referred to by several names, such as Skillman, the State Village of Epileptics, and most recently, the North Princeton Developmental Center. Perhaps most telling of all of the institution’s nicknames though, is the moniker it earned in the local press at the height of its operation: “the Snake Pit of New Jersey.”

    The original property—the State Village for Epileptics—operated as a complete, self-sustained village, including hospitals, housing, farmland, cemeteries, a power plant, and a wastewater treatment facility.

    The State of New Jersey closed the North Princeton Developmental Center in 1995, and the last patients were removed in 1998 and the complex was closed for good. Afterwards, the property went into disrepair and many of the buildings were left vacant and not properly maintained, and the place rapidly deteriorated. Up until recently, the many buildings of the vast complex stood vacant, derelict, and ramshackle.

    Montgomery Township purchased the 230-acre property, which borders Route 601 and Burnt Hill Road, from the state in January 2007 for $5.95 million to create Skillman Village. Demolition and asbestos cleanup began in early July 2007 and at this writing, over 93 buildings on site have been taken down, with about 10 buildings being saved for their historical importance.

    Demolition started only after county officials eased local residents’ fears about exposure to asbestos and other harmful substances by claiming demolition would not begin until after the school was over and would be completed by early September before school began again. Environmentalists were on site re-testing for any contamination and the township was happy to report that the health risks were minimized.

    The Courier News (9/11/07) reported that Montgomery Township Mayor Cecilia Xie Birge said the site was “‘beautiful’ once the buildings disappeared – a far cry from the property once being a hangout for vandals and visitors after it was publicized in a state magazine as being haunted.”

    But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Weird NJ was invited to photograph the property one last time before the bulldozers and environmental crews began dismantling and clearing the site. These are the last pictures taken, and a few remembrances from the files.

    (Original Link: http://www.weirdnj...ew&id=95&Itemid=28)
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans


    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Sat, Mar 18th, 2006
    posted by RedDragon
    16 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    The Rounds
    Tue, Jan 2nd, 2007
    posted by JustINSANE
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Thu, Jan 22nd, 2009
    posted by Rinzler
    6 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Power Building
    Sun, Sep 12th, 2010
    posted by phrenzee
    4 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links


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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 4/5/2018 12:04 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Apr 5 18 at 12:04, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Apr 5 18 at 6:12, Rinzler changed the following: Display Name
  • on Mar 28 12 at 23:41, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Mar 28 12 at 15:19, EsseXploreR changed the following: History, Status
  • on Sep 19 10 at 13:59, Steed validated this location
  • on Sep 18 10 at 13:20, phrenzee updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 18 10 at 13:20, phrenzee updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 18 10 at 13:20, phrenzee updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 18 10 at 13:20, phrenzee updated gallery picture
  • on Sep 18 10 at 13:19, phrenzee added some pictures to a gallery
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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     SubjectStarted ByRepliesViewsLast Post
    You must log in for this feature to work.Clean up Begins AT NPDCJustINSANE07594/8/2007 7:48 PM by JustINSANE
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