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Featured Article Of The Week

Worcester State Hospital


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Also once known as the Worcester Lunatic Asylum and the Bloomingdale Asylum, this psychiatric facility's history dates back to before the main building was built. On January 12, 1833, the old Worcester Insane Asylum opened, and was the first of its kind constructed in the state of Massachusetts. When overcrowding became a problem, a new hospital was to be built - a massive structure laid out in the Kirkbride plan, which is the one featured in these photographs.

Construction began in 1870 and the newly built Worcester State Hospital opened seven years later. Designed by architect Ward P. Delano of the firm Fuller & Delano of Worcester, the flagstone and brick building stood four stories tall, and between the 500 foot wings stood a beautiful clock tower, looming above the central administration building. On an interesting note, Sigmund Freud visited the hospital in 1909 during his only trip to America.

A massive fire engulfed the Kirkbride building on July 22, 1991, destroying almost all of the roof and floors, save for the right most wing and the administration building. The burned out shells of the other areas were bulldozed and the extra stone was used to seal up the gaping holes left by the connections to the remaining sections. A new hospital building was built behind the remains of the Kirkbride building and is still in operation as of 2008. Click here for more...