Gaebler Children's Center

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Gaebler Children's Center
Construction Began 1955
Opened 1955
Closed 1992
Demolished 2011
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Alternate Names
  • Gaebler State Hospital
  • Gaebler Children's Psychiatric Unit

Gaebler Children's Center was a psychiatric institution for severely mentally ill children and adolescents, located in Waltham, Massachusetts.


A 1945 Governor's report called attention to the fact that there were children as young as seven among the patient population at Metropolitan State Hospital. Nine years later in 1954, a dedicated children's unit was established at Metropolitan State Hospital, names after Dr. William C. Gaebler, the second superintendent at Metropolitan. The center was officially opened on October 8, 1955. In its time it was compared to the favorably to the children's unit at Rockland State Hospital in Orange County NY. Shortly before its closure, Gaebler was separated from Metropolitan State Hospital. It closed on January 31, 1992. The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) closed the center as it was antiquated and could no longer serve the needs of the children it housed. According to the DMH, this closure coincided with the decision to place mentally ill children in community settings instead of in institutional settings. Others felt the center was closed due to budget cuts.

Demolition of the Gaebler Children's Center was completed in January 2011. The work cost the City of Waltham approximately $637,000. There are no current plans for the 55 acre lot.

Images of Gaebler Children's Center

Main Image Gallery: Gaebler Children's Center