Formerly known as "Creepy-chusetts, Strange-chusetts".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Medfield State Hospital, Medfield

Visited on August 21, 2010

Together with my brand-new Nikon 5000, I visited now defunct Medfield State Hospital in Medfield, MA (now open to public between 6am to 6pm, yay!) Passing through beautiful woodlands and a train track, I was wondering  how the patients-going-to-be had reached the hospital.

When I approached the entry, a sign warmly welcomed me: “PASS AT OWN RISK … ENTRY TO BUILDINGS PROHIBITED … POLICE TAKE NOTICE.”

Built in 1852, this vast, spread-out psychiatric hospital differs from a typical image of the asylum of the time; located at an outskirt of a town, a Kirkbride looming on a hill like a broad-winged bat... On the contrary, the Medfield used to be a self-sustained community which supplied their own food from its farm, potable water from nearby wellfield, and even coal-generated electricity.

The facility closed its door in 2003. Like all the abandoned buildings, it suffers a rapid decay.  A guy patrolling with a non-descript SUV -- I hope he is a hired guard, but I’m not sure about it! -- kindly reminded me about falling shingles.

Yeah, he's right...

Anyway, anyone who attempts to enter the buildings isn’t the brightest spark.

Ugh, Poison Ivy!


 A seemingly non-religious chapel anchors the campus geographically and symbolically. The building with lovely details on its doors appears to be suffering the least decay.  Possibly a higher craftsmanship was applied to this important building, or maybe the word “asbestos” scares trespassers away.

Mesothelioma, anyone?

Amid the 19th century red brick structures, a low-hung, middle of the century complex caught my attention.  The sign obstructed by the ubiquitous ENTRY TO BUILDINGS PROHIBITED notice indicates the building used to be a job training facility.

Like other state-run institutions in the mid century, I assume this hospital experienced the shift in the way of treating patients -- from confinement to community placement; the advent of psychiatric medication, the change in people’s mentality, and more practically, overcrowding are some of the reasons I can think of. I find it interesting the date of the building exemplifies the historical shift in the treatment.

And now, the campus is totally deserted. Only wild turkeys roam the space like it used to be.

Currently, the town is selling the property to any third-party, but the future of the building is still uncertain.  Sardonic teenagers (or to be fair, teenager-used-to-be) know what they ought to say:

(Continues to Medfield State Hospital Cemetery)

Locate Medfield State Hospital @ Google Map


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