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Location DB > United States > Massachusetts > Taunton > Taunton State Hospital
Taunton State Hospital
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 Database Info
created by Matt on 6/3/2004 3:49 AM
last modified by Jvelmar on 7/11/2010 8:16 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
Very small kirkbride asylum built in the "Georgian" style, raised walkways between buildings.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: - select -
Recommendation: forget it
 Physical Information
666 Hodges Avenue
Taunton, Massachusetts
United States
Owner: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • Fresh air
  •  Interesting Features
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • 24 hour guard
  • locked gates
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1854
    Closed: 1975
     Required Equipment
     Recommended Equipment
    Blanket, Picnic stuff...
    My grandfather grew up in Plymouth in the 1920's.

    He told me that when he or his classmates would fool around, the teacher would tell them "Y'all gonna get yourselves sent up to Taunton!!"

    -Lizzie Borden apparently was admitted to this place a while back... however, someone broke in and stole her records.


    Taken from
    It took Massachusetts until 1833 to establish its first "lunatic system" located in Worcester. By 1851 it had grown so dangerously overcrowded that the Legislature appropriated $100,000 for the construction of a new hospital. The Legislature appointed a commission to choose the site and oversee its construction. Interestingly, many communities across the state petitioned to have the institutions located in their towns. After a lengthy search the commission chose the City of Taunton who had raised $13,000 to buy a one hundred and fifty-four acre farm situated in the north of town.

    The commission's site search was driven by specific criteria, and their vision, when the building and grounds were completed, was to "render it a spot fitted to interest and tranquilize the minds of those who need as well the soothing influences of external nature as the healing remedies of art." It was believed at the time that a bucolic setting of soothing topology would compliment and aid treatment. To that end, the commission settled on the farm in northern Taunton whose more than sixty acre grove, bounded by the river, extended to within a half a mile of the center of town. One advantage of the site was that the river acted as a natural barrier against the encroachments of an increasing town population, so that the institution would not gradually find itself in the heart of a large city.

    The commission selected Elbridge Boyden, the most prominent New England architect of the mid-19th century, whose most famous works were Mechanics Hall and Holy Cross College, both in Worcester. He was also well-known outside of New England and was chosen to design and build Antioch College in Ohio. Boyden's specialty was the design of civic and public buildings. He built jails, courthouses, town halls, churches, hotels, banks, post offices and railroad stations all over the United States.

    In 1853 the hospital was completed at a cost of $151,742.48. It was constructed in the Georgian style on a monumental scale and is, to this day, an example of classical revival institutional architecture. Boyden's specialty was the use of cast iron as a functional and decorative medium. His command of these materials can be seen in the domes, capitals and cornices that survive today. He situated the hospital "on a gentle eminence, at the extreme northerly part of the farm, being about one mile from town." As originally completed it was a three-storied building of brick with a slate roof. It was surmounted by a dome rising seventy feet above the roof. The dome's cupola offered a "panoramic view of great beauty, embracing the neighboring town, with its many tokens of busy life, several flourishing villages, the numerous ponds and streams with which the surrounding country abounds, and reaching even to the blue hills of Norfolk County."

    The building boasted all of the modern conveniences: central heat, running water, sewer and central ventilation. It contained a chapel, kitchen, bakery, laundry, dining rooms, apartments for staff, washrooms, parlors, open-air verandas and "patient" rooms. Some patient rooms were dormitory style and others private. Private rooms were an innovation and reflected the institution's concern for its inhabitants who would now be called "patients" and not "inmates."

     Media Coverage

     Future Plans

    Stories from someone who worked there
    Fri, Mar 2nd, 2007
    posted by Slombat
    Be careful in the attick
    Fri, Apr 28th, 2006
    posted by ryan

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Before the fence
    Wed, Jun 16th, 2004
    posted by keti
    7 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Night shots, after the fence
    Tue, Sep 7th, 2004
    posted by Andrax
    5 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    I miss Taunton.
    Mon, Jan 10th, 2005
    posted by Starman
    14 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Fri, Apr 14th, 2006
    posted by ryan
    51 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Fire damage (late april '06)
    Fri, May 5th, 2006
    posted by LostInPa
    8 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    After fire / Fence
    Sun, Nov 19th, 2006
    posted by LostInPa
    21 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Exterior As Of 1/15/07
    Wed, Jan 17th, 2007
    posted by PunkUE
    23 pictures
    Click to view gallery set
    Mon, Jun 7th, 2010
    posted by blackoutangel00
    10 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Howland building
    Wed, Nov 27th, 2019
    posted by StateHospitalExplorer
    25 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen

    Pano 1
    Wed, Jan 17th, 2007
    posted by PunkUE

    Pano 2
    Wed, Jan 17th, 2007
    posted by PunkUE

    Pano 3
    Wed, Jan 17th, 2007
    posted by PunkUE

    Pano 4
    Wed, Jan 17th, 2007
    posted by PunkUE
     Web Links


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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 12/2/2019 1:21 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Dec 2 19 at 13:21, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:40, StateHospitalExplorer updated gallery Howland building
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:37, StateHospitalExplorer swapped pictures 22 and 24
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:37, StateHospitalExplorer swapped pictures 23 and 24
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:37, StateHospitalExplorer added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:36, StateHospitalExplorer deleted 2 pictures from gallery Howland building
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:35, StateHospitalExplorer updated gallery picture IMG_8813.JPG
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:35, StateHospitalExplorer updated gallery picture IMG_8648.JPG
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:35, StateHospitalExplorer updated gallery picture IMG_8627.JPG
  • on Nov 27 19 at 7:35, StateHospitalExplorer updated gallery picture IMG_8639.JPG
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