Danvers State Hospital

1874- 1992

Hathorne, Massachusetts


Construction for Danvers State Hospital started in 1874 with a budget of 1.5 million dollars. Designed on the Kirkbride Plan (A theory on treating the mentally ill, that the natural environment around the patients were crucial to their healing processes) the complex Admin building was the center of the hospital, while 4 wings on each side Male & Female Wings housed the patients. The outer most wards were for “Excited Patients” while the middle wards were for “Less Excited Patients” and the most inner wards were for “Convalescent Patients” Patients. Located on Hawthorne Hill in Danvers, Massachusetts the Hospital looked like a castle and soon got the nick name “Castle on the Hill” Over the years. Like many hospitals in Massachusetts severe over crowding and lack of staff hurt the hospital. Due to budget cuts and a change in mental health the Kirkbride building closed in 1989. Shortly after the Bonner Medical Building who housed the remaining patients closed its door in June 1992. Today most of the complex is gone. The only remaining building on the property is a converted Admin Building and the Male & Female “Convalescent Patients” Wings to apartments.