Kirkbride Buildings Blog

December 26th, 2011

Save the Clocktower Clock Tower?

Worcester State Hospital Clocktower
Massachusetts’ Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) and Department of Mental Health filed paperwork with this month in preparation for tearing down the final remains of the Worcester State Hospital Kirkbride building. It’s been determined that reusing the structure would be too expensive.

The bulk of the building’s remains consists of the Kirkbride’s administration section, and is loosely referred to as “The Clocktower.” However, the actual clock tower is a separate substructure of the admin. It’s been proposed that a compromise between preserving the admin and tearing it down completely would be to keep the clock tower substructure standing while destroying the rest. The tower would remain as a “long needle” with the clock at the top. You can find out a bit more: Group Hopes to Save Clocktower.

It would be sad if that’s all that could be saved, but the phrase “better than nothing” comes to mind. If it happens, I hope the tower will be open to the public. It would be a better memorial if people could interact with it (i.e. go inside, climb to the top, and see the view) rather than just look at it.

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Discussion

  1. WSH December 27, 2011, 2:45 pm

    I’ll say it again, I’ve got a bad feeling about this. If they’re going to save something they’d probably be better to save one of the round halls (Hooper?) that’s left because I would highly doubt there would be any access into the clocktower.

    On a side note I had no idea it was a “seperate substructure” within the admin. Kind of interesting in it’s own right!

  2. Ethan December 27, 2011, 9:22 pm

    There’s only one round hall left. (Yes, it is Hooper.) I haven’t seen any talk about demolishing it, so it may be safe. It’d make a decent structure for a memorial, but it doesn’t really compare to the clock tower.

  3. Save the Clock Tower | Worcester June 28, 2014, 7:41 pm

    […] more information on the Kirkbride buildings blog (1, 2), which also points us to this excellent photoset of the 1991 fire (without which I think […]

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