Kirkbride Buildings Blog

January 23rd, 2012

Worcester Clocktower Update

Worcester State Hospital ClocktowerLooks¬†like Massachusetts is planning to proceed with demolition of the entire¬†Worcester State Hospital admin (including the clock tower), and construction of a replica clock tower using material from the original building. See this official report dated Friday, January 20, 2012. It’s a lengthy, wordy document which is painful to read in some respects, but the overall gist is their intent is to completely raze the admin and build a clock tower replica. They acknowledge strong community support for preservation, but say the cost is just too high.

While destruction of the clocktower is tragic and more should have been done to save it, there’s some small comfort in the fact that part of the reason this is happening is because of the new hospital building being built nearby. The advancement of care for the mentally ill should always trump preservation and memorialization, no matter how important the latter two are. While I don’t think that fully excuses the state from responsibility for this tragedy, it’s at least something of a silver lining.

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Discussion

  1. WSH January 23, 2012, 10:27 am

    For a while now I had a feeling it was going to come to this. I just hope that in the end they do complete some type of decent replica clock tower. Although I also remember DCAM saying they were going to build a nice memorial fountain at the site of Northampton, and that has yet to be started.

    Something that should be further explored is Hooper Hall. After calling and writing letters on behalf of the Worcester Admin. I received a letter from DCAM basically saying it was too late, but there was the mention of Hooper Hall and the allusion that it could be utilized in the future for a variety of purposes.

  2. Melissa January 23, 2012, 12:17 pm

    Thank you for keeping us all up to date and providing the resources we needed to make our voices heard. I am truly sad that this building will be completely torn down. I used to enjoy my daily run in front of that building. It’s beautiful architecture was a great distraction from the burning in my legs and lungs! Thank you, also, for the many, many pictures that you have posted of this beautiful building. They are a great collection and one that can be cherished in the absence of the building, come spring.

  3. Erica (Danvers State Enth) January 24, 2012, 1:39 pm

    At least a new hospital is going up and not apartments!

  4. Rob February 13, 2012, 6:07 am

    If by advancements in care you mean throwing neuroleptic drugs at people and then throwing them out on the street then yes.

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