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Foxboro State Hospital

1891- 1975

Foxboro, Massachusetts


To remove patients with alcohol and drugs abuse from Massachusetts state hospitals dealing with the “insane” a new facility would have to be built. In 1889 the creation of a treatment facility was authorized by the state of Massachusetts. The location for this new hospital would be built in Foxborough. The state thought that a pavilion plan would work best for the new hospital. They would have individual residential wards for patients and support buildings around the campus. Architect Charles Bigham designed it in a Colonial Revival style. He designed the hospital in L shaped wards with red bricks and large cupolas on top of the buildings for features. Originally individual buildings they were later all connected by hallways and day rooms. The Massachusetts Hospital for Dipsomaniacs and Inebriates opened in 1890 to treat alcohol and drug abuse. The hospital started out successful but ran into problems with people escaping. Due to the location of roads and the near by railroad system it became very problematic. In 1905 the hospital started to treat more psychiatric disorders and eventually in 1914 it was adopted into a State Hospital. The substance abuse facility was then transferred to a new campus in Norfolk. The new Foxboro State Hospital would help take pressure off the over crowded state hospitals in Massachusetts. In the 1950s more wards were added to the hospitals west side. Around the 1970s with budgets cuts and with the deinstitutionalization of patients, Foxboro State Hospital was on the list for closures. The state hospital was one of the first to close in 1975 along with Grafton State Hospital. The state rented out the some of the buildings to government entities until 1996. On July 19, 1994 National Registry of Historical Places. After 1996 the facility was then abandoned for almost 10 years until it was sold to a developer in 2004. The old state hospital would be converted into condominiums and a shopping plaza. The oldest wards (1891) of the hospital would be saved and converted into condos while the newest wards built in the 50s would be demolished for new housing and parking lots. The old Foxboro State Hospital has a new lease on life now as the Chestnut Green.


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