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Report - Taunton State Hospital: The Last Kirkbride in Massachusetts

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by arntzville, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. arntzville

    arntzville Guest
    Guest

    Taunton State Hospital was mortally wounded in 2006 when an arson-sparked blaze destroyed the entire central admin portion of the asylum. Actually the first heavy blow was dealt even earlier, when the massive central dome over admin was intentionally imploded, as it was believed to be in danger of falling over. Here's a historical photo post-abandonment, pre-dome collapse, and pre-construction of a millon dollar fence around the place.

    I don't have many exterior photos of the building, but they're easy enough to find on Google. It was definitely a beautiful building... and I say was because it's currently in the process of being demolished. In a matter of weeks, the last Kirkbride building in Massachusetts will be gone, unless you count the sterilized, truncated central section of Danvers State Hospital that now holds rental apartments, or the Worcester clocktower, all that is left of the massive state hospital there.

    At a time when our state's mental health system is desperately hanging on to what little funding they have left, we are wasting money to destroy what is left of this historic building. There's no plan for the land; it's not needed for anything in particular.

    Anyway, I was lucky enough to see the place a number of times over the past couple of years. Here are some photos that I have to remember it by.

    1. Interior courtyard
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    2. Top floor corridor
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    3. Looking toward the burned section
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    4.
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    5. The roof of the cafeteria burned as well.
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    6. Grand corridor... abandoned in 1975, this building was never subjected to suspended ceilings, hollow doors, and other modern blasphemies.
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    7. Looking out
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    8. I've never seen doorknobs like these anywhere else. Quite a few of them disappeared in the building's final months.
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    9. Collapse
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    10. The sun rooms featured these beautiful banks of windows. One great thing about this asylum was that almost no windows were broken or boarded up, so it was always bathed in natural light and decayed relatively slowly.
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    11. It was relatively empty, but did feature a few interesting details, like this barber chair...
    63.jpg

    12. ...and these great old institutional style sinks. (older photos from here down, don't have larger versions posted online at the moment)
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    13. Laundry area on the attic level
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    14.
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    15.
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    16.
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    20.
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    A beautiful building that will be sorely missed.
     

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