Taunton State Hospital

In 1851 the Massachusetts legislature appointed a commission to find a site for a second state asylum. This was neceassary to alleviate the pressure of a rising patient population at Worcester. The city of Taunton was chosen and the State Lunatic Hospital at Taunton, as it was originally known, began housing patients in 1854.

Although not as large or as architecturally ornate as its siblings in Worcester and Danvers, the Taunton State Hospital Kirkbride is still impressive. Designed in a neo-classical style by the architect Elbridge Boyden, its most striking features are the enclosed, raised walkways connecting the main structure to the two infirmary buildings which were added in the eighteen-nineties. But its cupolas and cast-iron capitals and window bars also add to this building's unique personality.

Unfortunately, the large dome over the building's administrative center collapsed in 1999, nearly twenty-five years after the building was largely abandoned in 1975. Photographs of the building before the dome collapsed can be seen in the Library of Congress's American Memory Collections. On the night of March 19th, 2006 a large fire broke out in the central section of the building. The administration section was completely gutted and mostly demolished that year. The wings remained standing for a few more years, but in 2009 they were finally demolished.

Other names for this hospital:

  • Taunton Lunatic Asylum
  • State Lunatic Hospital at Taunton


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