Gaebler Children's Center

1955-1992

Waltham, Massachusetts

History

In the early 1950s to separate the children’s unit from the adults at Metropolitan State Hospital a new building needed to be constructed. The location chosen was down the street from Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts. Just far enough away from the current hospital to be its own individual unit but, close enough to share some of its facilities. Named after the second superintendent William C. Gaebler of the near by Metropolitan State Hospital. The Gaebler Children’s Center opened its doors on October 8, 1955 to emotionally disturbed children under the age of 16 from all over the state. Some children were transferred from other state run facilities like the Lancaster School for Girls, Lyman Reform School for Boys and the Oakdale School for Boys. The new institution was designed with two wards on both side from the central unit. It would include 160 beds, 4 classrooms for teaching, an auditorium, cafeteria, library and therapy rooms.  On the property they had a baseball field, play ground, swimming pool which was donated by family and friends in the 60s and a hot top for kids to play on. After 40 years of service, Gaebler Children’s Center closed its door on January 31, 1992.