Blythewood Sanitarium

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Blythewood Sanitarium
Opened 1890
Closed 1960's
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Greenwich, Connecticut


Blythewood Sanitarium opened as a private institution for the mentally disturbed in 1905 in Stamford, Connecticut. Established by Boss Tweed for wealthy patients as an escape from New York City, the facility was built on fifty acres of wooded land, split down the middle by a stream which lead to a nearby pond. At its peak, Blythewood had eight main buildings, eight cottages, a chapel, an occupational therapy building, and a small golf course.

Blythewood was not like the three other sanitariums of Greenwich (Brooklea Farm and Crest View). It was exclusive - catering to many wealthy socialites and costing nearly $200 a week in 1924. [1]

The patients were housed in four buildings. The main front building, described as a "gracious mansion with white columns [2] was the original house of the estate. The administrative center contained doctors' offices and a "graduate house" for patients who were soon to be discharged.

The Forrest Building was the main residence and services building. It was three stories tall with clapboard siding, large brick chimneys at either end, and green awnings above the windows. There was also a medical facilities unit and the Occupational Building where patients could do arts and crafts or play piano.

According to an account from Mrs. Marty Mann, patients were sent into a "lockup house" for observation after being admitted. Violent patients were moved into the "violent house," a small building far from the road. Patients would be sometimes be brought to this house in an ambulance and were restrained. Closer to the road was the "middle house". It had two floors, a finished attic, common rooms, and a small central dining room."

Mann also accounts:

"Though the sanitarium had been established as primarily a psychiatric facility, its location in Greenwich was ironic regarding services to alcoholics. The town, a moneyed, educated, urbane bedroom community of New York City, had a reputation for widespread inebriety. As late as 1979, the problem of alcoholism was so pronounced that national study, reported in the Greenwich Time of July 30, 1979, called Greenwich the alcoholic capital of America, second only perhaps to the San Fernando Valley of California."[3]

The facility closed some time in the 1960's and was demolished. The chapel was preserved, and still remains next to the Greenwich Baptist Church.

Images of Blythewood Sanitarium[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Blythewood Sanitarium


  1. Fleming, E. J. "The Life and Famous Death of MGM Director and Husband of Harlow." McFarland, 2009.
  2. Glimpses of Blythewood," The Blog of the Drug and Alcohol History Society. June 21, 2011. Accessed November 8th 2013.
  3. Glimpses of Blythewood," The Blog of the Drug and Alcohol History Society. June 21, 2011. Accessed November 8th 2013.