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Originally opened on August 17, 1876, the hospital was known as the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Morristown.
The asylum officially received the familiar Greystone Park name in 1924. The idea for such a facility was conceived in the early 1870s at the persistent lobbying of Dorothea Lynde Dix, a former school teacher who was an advocate for better health care for people with mental illnesses. Because of her efforts, the New Jersey Legislature appropriated $2.5 million dollars to obtain about 3.007 square kilometers (743 acres) of land for New Jersey’s second "lunatic asylum."