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Outpatient Clinic (Sagamore Children's Center)

Sagamore Children's Center was the first of five state psychiatric hospitals for children in New York State to open in the early 1970s. The hospitals culminated a movement begun in the 1930s to separate child from adult institutional programs in mental health. In the 1930s, Rockland State Hospital was built as a special hospital for children, under WPA. In the 1940s, Rockland became overcrowded with children having emotional problems. In the early 1950s, a state-sponsored committee with prominent clinicians such as Lauretta Bender developed a plan for children's psychiatric facilities. Twelve new units were envisioned. In the interim, however, temporary facilities for children were opened at King's Park and Central Islip hospitals on Long Island. In the 1960s, Governor Rockefeller became interested in the plans, expressing his own predilection for interesting architecture. Ultimately, five new hospitals, each of approximately 200 bed capacity and 300 to 400 staff, were authorized and built. Sagamore's mandate was to serve the Long Island region —Nassau and Suffolk counties.