River Crest Sanitarium

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River Crest Sanitarium
Opened 1896
Closed 1961
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Astoria, Queens, NYC
Alternate Names


Dr. John Kindred’s River Crest Sanitarium launched in 1896. The spacious institution consisted of eight separate buildings at today’s Ditmars Boulevard and 26th Street. Built on land once known as the Wolcott Estate, the private sanitarium advertised itself as a place for people with “mental and nervous diseases” and alcohol and drug addiction. Dr. Kindred had some training in psychology, though it’s unclear how effective his sanitarium was. Old newspaper articles reference patients who were there for everything from cocaine addiction to “temporary mental aberration.” Articles also note several escapes, suicides, and people committed against their will. River Crest Sanitarium had closed by 1961 and was replaced by Mater Christi High School, now St. John’s Prep.