Kirkbride Buildings Blog

June 27th, 2008

Avalon Danvers Grand Opening

Avalon DanversToday’s Salem News has an article about last night’s grand opening ceremony at Avalon Danvers: Officials Celebrate Rebirth of Danvers State Property. Even with all the congratulations about what they did preserve, I still don’t believe Avalon cared one bit about preserving anything at Danvers State Hospital. They only did what they had to do to get their hands on the property and cram as many multi-level crap shacks as they could fit on top of Hathorne Hill.

I have to agree with Richard Trask. The Avalon Danvers development was “an historical rape of an important structure, not just to Danvers but to the United States.”

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  1. Phil June 27, 2008, 12:30 pm

    “Avalon executives said much of the Kirkbride building had fallen into disrepair.”

    What does that even matter when all they saved were the outter walls?

    “The project put $6 million into the state’s general fund, Norstrand said. Danvers also got $1 million for its schools, $500,000 for affordable housing and $500,000 for historic preservation — $400,000 of which will go to the Town Hall exterior renovation project. The town will also get hundreds of thousands in real estate taxes from the project.”

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how much you need to pay to rape history.

    Somehow, what Avalon Bay did to Danvers, reminds me of what leather face does to his victims. Danvers is a real loss, and I try not to think about it anymore because it just makes me mad.

  2. John June 27, 2008, 2:14 pm

    I’m surprised in this current economy they’re having no problem filling vacancies. The area is loaded with other Avalon, Archstone properties.

  3. WSH June 27, 2008, 2:21 pm

    I honestly can’t understand why, if it was so easy to gut the place and keep the walls, did they not keep the entire exterior facade? They didn’t used to call DSH the “Palace on the Hill” for nothing. It was truly an American architectural gem that is irreplaceable.

    On another note I’ve called Avalon Danvers on 3 separate occasions to request literature on the place saying that I’m moving to the Boston area to work. I’ve never received anything in the mail or any type of follow up.

  4. Chris June 27, 2008, 3:00 pm

    The current economy is the segregation of the poor and upper classes by eliminating the middle. Luxury items across the board are having a field day.

  5. robbin July 2, 2008, 10:39 am

    Werent there any Architect’s on this job that were familiar with historic Kirkbrides? How did they build those buildings that don’t mesh with the old?
    The place was truly spectacular, now its something else. All for the mighty dollar. Very, very sad thing to see. The apartments are getting bad review to boot. THEYRE FIRED

  6. Ethan July 2, 2008, 1:14 pm

    But look at those steeply pitched roofs and gables, Robbin! Don’t you see how they echo the roofline of the Kirkbride?

    I’m just kidding of course. I think any architect probably would have loved to go nuts with designing buildings that were sympathetic to the Kirkbride’s amazing design. The architects who designed the Avalon buildings were probably severely limited in what they could do though. I’m sure Avalon’s budget (and management) kept the buildings from being anything more than a half-baked nod to Nathaniel J. Bradlee’s masterpiece.

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