Danvers State Hospital

Danvers State Hospital dominated Hathorne Hill in Danvers, Massachusetts for well over a century. It's extraordinary Kirkbride building was designed by Nathaniel J. Bradlee. Construction began in 1874 and patients were first admitted in 1878. Although it was intended to house 450, as with most of these buildings, many more than that number would eventually be crowded within its walls.

The numerous sharp angles and spires of the Kirkbride's roofline were visible from the surrounding area and aroused curiosity in passersby for years. While neglect and vandalism took their toll, the building's exterior still appeared solid and immutable. Its intricate Gothic designs in granite, copper, and red brick producing a haunting splendor not easily forgotten.

The building is prominently featured in the cult favorite Session 9, a thriller released in 2001 which used the setting to great effect. Unfortunately, much of the structure was demolished in 2006. Real estate developer Avalon Bay Communities purchased the property and turned it into a residential complex. Large portions of the Kirkbride building's wings were torn down because it was claimed to be too expensive to renovate them. Only about one-third of the building remains.

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