There's a great place in Plainview that tells a little known, yet haunting story.
Plainview was once home to the Nassau County Sanitarium, a hospital that isolated tuberculosis patients from the rest of the population.
Stark and overgrown, it was built in the early 1930s to treat those with the infectious disease once called "consumption." It stands abandoned, an apparition of brown brick and broken windows.
Through the centuries, TB was a terror, a child's cough could set off a parent's worst fears. It's a plague that still kills millions of people in the developing world, according to the World Health Organization.
And in popular culture, at least two heroines of Italian opera died of the killer, but not before singing their soprano hearts out to the tenors they loved. (Verdi's La Traviata; Puccini's La Boheme.) These days, TB is controlled through the use of antibiotics.
Not a lot is known about the day-to-day operations of the neo-Georgian style structure, located on a triangle-shaped parcel of land south and west of the split of Old Country and Round Swamp roads. It is private property, owned by Islanders owner But the property has public access to a adjacent to the site.
Tuberculosis was brought under control during the mid-part of the 20th Century. Nassau County closed the TB wards and the property had a variety of uses until Wang bought the 140 acre site in 1999. o develop the site have been aired and some resulted in heated public debate.
But a family drive around the grounds can be insightful for your kids. It's a way of telling them about the hardships faced by past generations, and the lessons those hardships can teach to the current ones.
- Category: History, Community
- Price: Free but for the cost of gas.
- Season: Year-round.
- Location: 1535 Old Country Road (about a mile east of Plainview Road.)
- Note: This is on private property, and the old hospital itself is not open to the public. You can look, but don't touch. OK?
Stay tuned for #98 next week; No. 100 got lots of reaction: here's the link. http://patch.com/A-d5s9