Holy Cross Campus

Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NY

I’ve been saving this until after the site redesign, so since the site is half-redesigned, here you go. You might remember that we got kicked out of Bennett College. The backup plan was the abandoned Holy Cross Campus about a half hour away in Rhinebeck.

Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NY This place started as a military academy, built shortly after WWII. In the early ’80s it was converted to a juvenile detention center for teenage boys — and as has been pointed out in comments, also housed girls. The place is suitably clinical, sterile, and individualism-killing for both purposes. In 2000 it closed after allegations of sexual abuse were leveled against a female counselor. It’s since sat vacant, in the wooded hills overlooking the Hudson River.

There are four main buildings forming a sort of courtyard, with outdoor basketball courts and playing fields set off a bit. The buildings include dorms, classrooms, administrative offices, and in the most interesting one, two gymnasiums and a pool. Now they also include a lot of broken glass, graffiti, holes in the walls, and trash. The few fixtures that are left are wrecked and scattered around the rooms and grounds.

Holy Cross has been one of the more interesting places we’ve visited. There’s a lot of variety, and while it’s obvious that local kids have been using it as their private playground, things are still mostly intact and everything’s accessible. The rec building is by far the highlight; the gyms are vast and drive home the emptiness, and the pool really has to be seen to be appreciated.

Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NYIt’s hard to say exactly how long this place will be around. The area is not unwealthy; million dollar houses hide in the woods nearby, and their owners undoubtedly don’t want the eyesore or the trouble it can bring. Plans to build senior housing on the property have been tied up in red tape, and because it was constructed to decades-old building codes and is full of asbestos, converting the existing structures isn’t going to happen. Oh yeah, it’s also built on 100,000+ cubic feet of landfill and there are multiple above and below ground fuel storage tanks.

But, like most abandoned properties in the area, it’s not going anywhere soon. Nice legacy.

We spent a few hours here, and it kept surprising us. It’s definitely a Hudson Valley urbex site worth looking into. Come for the creepy kitchen that looks like something from a Saw movie, stay for the dead birds in the gym!

See the full slideshow, plus sebastien.b and nerradk‘s sets.

Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NY Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NY Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NY
Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NY Abandoned Holy Cross Campus, Rhinebeck NY

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64 thoughts on “Holy Cross Campus

  1. L

    Very interesting. My favorite is still the one looking down the hallway. What made you decide to redesign the site?

  2. B

    Thanks… I keep thinking I should go back and do a different edit on that.

    I have a lot more control over the blog by having it on my own hosted domain. It’s going to allow me to add a few more things and grow a bit. I also want to get business cards made up so I can network more, and I wanted a more permanent online “home” than a wordpress.com blog.

  3. Bryan Wezwick

    Wow, I was sent there in 72-73 it was then a juvenile type of school and Ive always wondered what became of it. (if those walls could talk) from new york, but living in Australia.I’ll stay tuned for updates Thanks Bryan Wezwick

  4. Sylvia

    Its true. I was a resident there from 1984 to 1987 and i am definantly a girl. Holy cross aka Pius X11 was not creepy at all. Its old.. Duh. But definently wa CO-OP…. Beautiful memories there for me. And i can tell i a whole lot more then the pics. The outside basket court was called “black top”. Man u guys have no idea

  5. Sylvia

    The staircase is actually inside the school. I got my first bloody nose on them steps in 1984 by a jealous boyfriend. The scarey thing is those steps never had security and if my bestfriend didnt grab my arm after the punch i would had fell right over. WOW!!!!!! Flashbacks

  6. -S

    @Sylvia: “i am definantly a girl”. Prove it. “The staircase is actually inside the school.” We moved it, took us two days. “I got my first bloody nose on them steps”, are you sure this wasn’t a concussion?

  7. Tina

    These pictures bring back so many memories good…..and bad :/ I have pictures from when I was there in the early 90’s.It was CO-ED then.I was actually one of the last females to be moved out of that place.There were riots and everything.So many memories………..

  8. Laura

    Really folks? Constructive Criticism goes a long way. @atqjrs: Yelling in capital letters in text speak is just rude. @Sylvia: “Man you have no idea?” Try sharing instead of insulting, folks. Would you be this disrespectful in person? If so, well, sorry you are miserable. If not, then consider that you are writing to one person who explored a new place (to him) as a hobby, and if you have more information on it, then a conversation would be more useful. Especially since anyone who took the time to take these photos and write this is interested in what you you know. But not so much the attitude, I would guess.

  9. Jorge

    Wow!! This place really brings back so many old memories! I was there in the 90s when I was a young/dumb teenage bad ass. I’m sure the buildings have been renamed multiple times but here is what I can recall.
    The basketball courts were called “black top”. As mentioned above, there were four main buildings surrounding a sort of courtyard and here is some history behind them. One of the buildings had two main units one named named Pathfinder for teens who made it out of orientation and the other named Network for the older and more violent teens. Another building also had two main units one named orientation which was used for new juvenile inmates and the other named ITU(I think) for the most violent teens. There was a third building used mainly for the nurses and staff which also housed two isolation rooms directly across from each other. The last building was the school attended by non ITU teens.
    Anyway.. I can go on and tell some stories but I rather end it here. It’s true, the walls of this place would have sooo much stories to tell if only they could speak. Adios..

  10. Sylvia

    @-S. I’m sure. A concussion “NO” being a part of that history “Yes” u can only speculate and draw conclusions from your vision and that my friend tells me your a very “little person. I have been very successful in my life thanks to that place u find soooooo creeeeepy, ” get a life ” and stay out ” The Cross” you don’t deserve to be there loser.

  11. Sylvia

    @Laura.. How dare you judge. Saying ” you have no idea” is not an insult. What’s an insult is people commenting on things they have no idea about. I commented from my heart when I saw the pics. If you weren’t part of ” The Cross” then there’s no reason to share. I don’t even know why you people but being that you said my name as a lady I must address you. laura go find someone to save with your Psycho babble. All those not part of ” The Cross” go Fuck Your Selves. How’s that for disrespect… Lmao

  12. Sylvia

    @-S, it’s because of creepy guys like you that keep the beautiful ones from posting pics of themselves. Sounds like stalker to me. And anyway, why were you at “The Cross”? You suck as a photographer and you know nothing about “The Cross”. Your such a lame. Must suck being yoy

  13. Sylvia

    @-S. Must be hallucinating, stay of the LSD. The staircase is still in tact. Your such a loser

  14. Sylvia

    @Laura. No,” that person that explored one place” needs to be careful when criticizing someones past. To you and him it’s just some place but for a lot of us it was home, so to read someone saying that the kitchen looked like a “saw movie” and “dead birds in the gym” was very insulting and hurtful. But of ‘course you must think just like him. You defend the one who criticized something special to a lot of people. Shallow asses. Typical of people to take something “unique” and make it “strange and scary”. Devils

  15. Sylvia

    @Laura and -S. guess what assholes.. We already have pictures. From when the place was beautiful, vibrant and full of life. These pictures are an insult. We have a whole world dedicated to us from the 80’s ’til 2000. U should see that place in the early 80’s. It’s a privilege to see. We are actually having a reunion in June 2011. So, No, Laura I should not be happy for these disturbing images and comments. The ones I have is something to talk about.. Like I said “you guys have no idea”. Losers.

  16. Sylvia

    I am so thrilled to know I am actually down with the walls of this place… The stories we can tell. Lol

  17. B

    Okay now, Sylvia.

    You seem to be taking offense to this now abandoned property being called “creepy”, since that word keeps coming up. As far as I can tell, the only initial use of “creepy” is my description of the kitchen. I’m going to be honest, in our trip through the facility, that area was profoundly creepy. I’m sorry if that upsets you, but have you been back to the grounds? Have you seen the shape it’s in today? I stand by my statement that some areas are in fact creepy.

    None of this is a judgement on the facility as it was when operational or those who may have passed through it’s halls. I apologize if anything I wrote is so easily misinterpreted. However, I’ve been collecting as much contact information as I can from those with a personal story here who have commented here and on flickr. I would love to do a followup post with first-hand accounts. Sylvia, if you’d like to share your story, you can either email me (check the about/contact page, link at the top) or let me know and I’ll contact you at the address you entered in your comments.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, I’m sorry you obviously misunderstood the intent here.

  18. Sylvia

    Well, i was raised there when I lost my mom at age 11. my little sister and I. and it really did offend me because this was home for me. And I may have thought I was unfortunate at the time but in fact I owe my everything to that place. Yes I have been back there. I was just there Dec. 2011. The asbestos kept me and my family out although we came prepared with masks and a few more things. I went there because of these pis I had to see it for myself and I couldn’t believe it. We are still pretty much alive though. We have a whole website for our residents to enjoy when they feel like going back home. If u seen the pics we have and u see the true spirit of holy cross . It was the most beautiful property In Rhinebeck. Maybe I will share some

  19. Sylvia

    I am a holy cross child and I defend me and my family. If you can dish it than be ready to eat it. I’m just saying. Loooool

  20. Sylvia

    One more thing. @Laura and -S, in my very first comment posted I was very much sharing a story. When reading it is important to comprehend what your reading , or your just reading nothing. I shared a story about my incident on the school steps and I’m informing readers what the steps were and where they are placed and I also shared what we called the basketball court ( Black Top) then I got attacked by you and -S. When I said (man , you guys have no idea) I text that with a smile on my face. Aren’t you sociable? Do you have friends? Haven’t you ever used that “term”. You need to get out more and stop assuming. Which reminds me “Laura” your comment @algris how do you know his key pad isn’t just locked on “CAPS”. Humble yourself Laura, your barking up the wrong tree

  21. B

    Ending your first comment with “you have no idea” doesn’t exactly start things out on the right foot. This is the INternet, we can’t see the smile on your face, unfortunately. With that, you attacked others first, and Laura was barking up exactly the right tree if you re-read her comment. As for -S’s comments, you just don’t understand sarcasm. Sorry, I don’t buy the “sharing a story” angle, if that’s what you were/are trying to do, you need to reevaluate how you’re communicating.

    if you tried to go back to this site after seeing the photos… well, thank you! That is exactly my intent in photographing abandoned sites like these, to raise awareness and hopefully show we as a society are forgetting or missing. The fact that they encouraged you to visit is a huge compliment.

    As for your story, I’d still like to hear it and I’m interested in your reunion. You’re right, I don’t know the whole story of Holy Cross when it was in use. I’d love to see your old photos, if you put them online please send along a link, or I can help you figure out how to host them. Again, send me an email, I’d like to hear some more details.

    Final note: drop the attacks. Maybe you feel like you were attacked in the first place, I don’t care, you already called people assholes and losers, told them to get a life, accused someone of being a stalker, so on. If you can’t get your point across without lashing out and calling people names, take it somewhere else.

  22. Sylvia

    @B. You dont have to buy it I wasn’t selling it. Nor did I comment for feedback, positive or negative. No one should have addressed me at all. I am aware that I’m on the Internet but I am also in a Country of free speech. My communication skills are up to par. Actually, i have a book signing in June. Furthermore, be a man and handle the fight you picked. I stand by everything I said and all the name calling seems to fit. I will continue to visit this site as I please.

    Final note: I attack as a self defense mechanism. You shouldn’t care, no one knows you and your unsuccessful as a photographer. I like getting my point across just as ” I did”. And I’ll take it where I please. Something about you creeps me out. Maybe it’s that eerie pic of you sipping wine that looks like blood and that demonic look u have on your face. It’s just scary. Please go away, “Boogie Man”

  23. Sylvia

    @B your such an “idiot” first of all (“The fact that they encouraged you to visit is a huge compliment”) of ‘course they did it was my home for four years. Have you ever been back home??? Oh you think it’s a compliment. Second; (You have no idea, doesn’t exactly start things on the right foot) I didn’t know my comment needed yours, -S and Laura’s opinion. U sit there and critic special photos in a (negative way) and you have to critic my comments to, in a (negative way) I am fully aware that I’m on the Internet “Windows reminds me every time I turn on my IPad”. You are a far cry from “GOD” and only he can judge me, so -B join the dogs at the bottom of my tree and take this as a friendly reminder; all of you guys are barking up the wrong tree, as previously stated

  24. Sylvia


    @-S and your lover B, move on from this project, no true Holy Cross child will cooperate after this message trust me. We stand together and we fall together. .

  25. B

    “I will continue to visit this site as I please.”

    Actually, no, you will continue to visit this site as I please.

    Again, if you would like to actually tell the story you keep referring to, or want to share some info about this reunion, contact me, I’m interested in doing an update. And that extends to anyone else who passed through Holy Cross, too.

  26. Sylvia

    Actually, this is the most attention you got in a year?? Don’t be a stupid man take it how you can get it…. Lmao.. “Actually, no, you will continue to visit this site I as please” first of all watch your comma use, furthermore I wish I never stumbled across this site. It’s horrible. And it won’t last as long as you put up horrible pics and believe they are great. Reevaluate your chain of thoughts, Psycho

  27. Cynthia Calcano

    @B -S.. I am also a holy cross resident. Your picture and comments are disturbing

  28. Cynthia Calcano

    Remember this @-S,
    What’s your reasoning for this inhumane thing you posted on one of my other comments on “flickr”……

    sebastien.b (6 weeks ago | reply)
    I head the place burned down though. Do you mean you will be the proud owner of the pentagram? It’s a nice pentagram. My gut feeling is that it opens some serious Gates.

    Why are you so evil?? Did you draw that pentagram??

  29. -S

    B (lover), I have to say, I do admire your patience with the crazies, but if you think anything true would come up of Sylvia’s “story” (if she is, actually, “Sylvia/Cynthia”), then I need that thing you are smoking. Then again, you and your demonic face!

    – I didn’t draw the pentagram, I didn’t have a big enough compass. This is serious geometry right there.
    – I’m glad you went back to The Cross “in Dec. 2011”, now if I could borrow your time-machine please?
    – “No one should have addressed me at all”, you forgot “or look me in the eyes”, though I might be confused with Donald Trump,
    – “My communication skills are up to par. Actually, i have a book signing in June.”, congrats, I can’t wait to color it!
    – “-B join the dogs at the bottom of my tree”, do *not* fling poop at us, I repeat, DO NOT, that’s just rude.

    OK now it really makes me want to go back.

  30. Sylvia

    i’m arguing with “Two old bald gay guys” lmao. I do indeed better get my head examined.

  31. Sylvia

    If you guys promise to behave like good little boys I will reward you with a real holy cross picture taken in the early 80’s. Pinky promise

  32. Sylvia

    Sylvia/Cynthia are sisters fool. She’s right here with me. I showed her your nasty comment on flickr on her own IPad and she replied off her log in. Did you really need me to explain that? Or are you being sarcastic again?

    I’m convinced, I know that’s your pentagram. It’s the work of a devil

    Your as rude as they get so flinging some poop in your face is a understatement

    No you can not borrow my time machine but, define “”Typo”

    You could take some advice from Donald Trump Like where he bought his toupee

    No coloring funny looking rainbows allowed

  33. -S

    B has beautiful hair. Birds actually land on his head it’s so luscious. The hair jokes are fantastic and fresh though, you need to put them in your “book” when you are done with your homework tonight. You are making progress with sarcasm, that’s great. I was starting to worry, I’m still not sure the two of you combined could power a light bulb for very long.

    Typo? Damn, you got me. Something like “@B your such an “idiot” “, or “Your as rude as they get”? Hey, you tell me, you are the one with the “book signing”.

  34. Sylvia

    To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.

    Happy to hear you found my jokes fantastic.

    And being that the key component in a light bulb is the “filament” in which Cynthia nor I possess, I doubt we will be able to power a light bulb at all.

    Will you be interested in attending my book signing

  35. P

    Sylvia- I hate to interrupt this wonderful, civilized discussion, but I have to ask about your upcoming book. Is the subject of the book related to your experience at Holy Cross? Will it be available in a format readable on an iPad running a Windows OS?

  36. Sylvia

    Yes it has a lot to do with holy cross and yes it will be sold on ebooks. I just got off the phone with my publisher so hopefully if god is willing the date of release will be June11th. Available in several formats. I thank you for your interest in this book and I promise it will deliver. My friend you will be taken back to the early 80’s and life on the cross. I do promise you a ride in my time machine.
    I will keep you posted…

  37. B

    Sylvia, you can email anything to me — the address is in the about/contact link at the top of the page. You might want to set up a free flickr account if you want to share them publicly.

  38. Sylvia

    I forwarded one photo please let me know we you received it. I will forward a picture of our gym when it had life… Before the bird took a nap

  39. Sylvia

    Lmao. Pick some of the hairs that fall and show Donald Trump how it’s really done… Oh wait, : ) I have to clarify that I’m smiling. I almost forgot this is the internet

  40. Bryan Wezwick

    Just checked out this site again,and reading all the comments I was known as Jim Murphy when I attended holy Cross in the 70’s is this Sylvia(writing)from then? Sylvia Saunders??



  42. JT Casey

    I went here for four(4) years when it was still Farley. It was a great school. When I went to college I found that I already knew everything they were trying to teach me so I dropped out and got drafted. I still stay in touch with a lot of Farley alumni. I’m glad to hear that the place left a profound impression on you people.

  43. chris graziano

    Yeah I was there from 1/2/94 to 12/12/96 and let me tell you chouldnt wait to get out off therenohing but fights people stillin just out off controll.. these pic bring me back when I was there.

  44. brenda

    I used to live there in the 70s it was nothing like it is now I wish I could buy it

  45. Doretta

    I lived there from 1973-1976. I would buy it in a heart beat if I could. It was nothing like you see here or what others later experienced. I hope they do something beneficial with the land. it hold great memories for me.

  46. BRENDA


  47. jessy

    I went to Holy Cross. I am grateful that I did attend that place. It was the place that forced me to find the potential inside of me. I went there in the late 80. Black top, the river, those Woods, the dedicated staff gave birth to the woman I am today.

  48. felicia tolbert

    I am very much interested in finding someone from back then, I remember Haywood and Betty. There are some fond memories, as well as bad ones, but I made it out alive, I have three beautiful daughters two of which are grown and work for a 500 fortune company.

  49. JT Casey

    Many fond memories of this place. Always thought it would be around forever. Certainly not deteriorated to the condition it is now. Viriliter age!!

  50. Tina

    I know I am a bit late on this conversation but I was 1 of the last few females left in holy cross when they were slowly transferring out the females…I believe it was in 1993. Many memories..

  51. Car Wreck

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now
    on each time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment.
    Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

  52. Latonya Mack

    Im trying to find anyone especially guys who attended this school in 1991. I beleive my brother attended this school and i need some info

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