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Insane Asylum

This was the view from Anthony’s hospital room. Check out the building in the center. Very interesting architecture, so I looked into it further to see what it was. Here’s what I found out:

On January 12, 1833, the old Worcester Insane Asylum opened, and was the first of it’s kind built in the state of Massachusetts. When overcrowding became a problem, a new hospital was to be built – a massive structure laid out in the Kirkbride plan.

Construction began in 1870 and the newly built Worcester State Hospital opened seven years later. Designed by architect Ward P. Delano of the firm Fuller & Delano of Worcester, the flagstone and brick building stood four stories tall, and between the 500 foot wings stood a beautiful clock tower, looming above the administration building. The building seems to reflect more of a prison complex in the styles, layout, and sheer size of the institution. On an interesting note, Sigmund Freud visited the hospital in 1909 during his only trip to America.

A massive fire engulfed the Kirkbride building on July 22, 1991, destroying almost all of the roof and floors, save for the right most wing and the administration building. The burned out shells of the other areas were bulldozed and the extra stone was used to seal up the gaping holes left by the connections to the remaining sections.

The hospital still functions as a psychiatric facility in a large, newer building near the Kirkbride (brick building to the right in the photo above).

Here’s a closer look at the old clock tower building.

Anthony is doing well at home. A visiting nurse will be coming to check on him sometime today.


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