Northampton State Hospital

In 1855, the Massachusetts legislature approved the building of a new asylum in the western part of the state as a measure to improve conditions of its asylum system. The original hospital building, built on the Kirkbride model in an Elizabethan style, was completed in 1858 and opened as the Northampton State Lunatic Hospital. Pliny Earle, a contemporary of Thomas Kirkbride and fellow founding member of AMSAII, served as superintendent at Northampton in it's early years.

Several additions were constructed during the lifetime of the hospital and give the Kirkbride structure a somewhat confused and rambling character. This is most evident in the rear of the building. Other free-standing buildings of significant size were built later and the patient population eventually exceeded 2000 in the middle of the twentieth-century. The entire hospital was closed and abandoned in 1993.

The Northampton Kirkbride, often referred to as Old Main, was recently demolished completely. Some other buildings on the hospital campus were renovated and put to new use as apartments, but the Kirkbride is no more.

Other names for this hospital:

  • Northampton State Lunatic Hospital


Forum Topics

Read more about Northampton State Hospital in the forum.

1856-1939 Annual Reports Online
For what it's worth the Annual Reports for Northampton State Hospital from 1856-1939 are online at...
McMenamins And NSH
There's another article by Mark Roessler in the The Valley Advocate...
Radio Show On Kollmorgen Deal
WXOJ-LP, 103.3 FM, Northampton, Valley Free RadioCommunity Radio Hour, hosted by Mary SerrezeInterview with Mark Roessler and Mike Kirby, independent journalists, on the...

Blog Posts

New Book About Northampton State Hospital
I'm a little behind on this, sorry, but there's a new book out about Northampton State Hospital. Co-authored by Anna Schuleit and J. Michael Moore, Northampton State Hospital...
Northampton State Hospital Exhibit
There's a special exhibit focusing on Northampton State Hospital at Historic Northampton in (where else?) Northampton, Massachusetts. "Vanished: the Hospital on the Hill" will...
Northampton Memorial Setbacks
An article in the Valley Advocate describes multiple problems with the creation of a Northampton State Hospital memorial: The Theft of Memory. As the article's subtitle says,...