HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (2023)

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (1)


Cities' inability to cope with an indigestible and rapidly growing antisocial population has not been the only impetus for state involvement in mental health. Another important component was the move away from "demonology" towards the moral treatment of the insane, a cause openly and publicly championed by social reformers such as Boston's Dorothea Lynde Dix. Her vigorous career (1841-1887) had significant local, national and international repercussions.

By mid-century, the humanistic approach to the care of the mentally ill was generally accepted, but there was still controversy over what form or physical layout such institutions should take. Some with strong representation on the State Board of Charities advocated for the dispersion of addicts in opposition to their community. The other faction in the controversy, which found many supporters in the Association of Medical Superintendents, favored a large, highly centralized complex. The main proponent of the centralized plan was Thomas S. Kirkbride, M.D., L.L.D. (1809-1883), founder of the American Psychiatric Association, physician at the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane, and friend of Dorothea Lynde Dix.

(Video) Committed - Danvers State Hospital

Kirkbride developed a specific institutional model, hereinafter referred to asPlano Kirkbride, which was built in all then 30 states and several European cities. H.H. Richardson, for example, in collaboration with Frederick Law Olmsted, built a variant of the Kirkbride Plan Hospital in Buffalo, NY, in the early 1870s.

Danvers State Hospital, originally known as the State Lunatic Hospital in Danvers, has been significant in both architectural and social history. It was designed in 1874 by the noted Boston, N.J. Bradlee and is a nationally recognized implementation of the Kirkbride Plan. When built, it represented the latest contemporary advances in technology and engineering, as well as architecture. Later additions reflect changes in the philosophy of mental health care and contribute to an understanding of the overall function of the hospital. Historically, Danvers State Hospital has been important for its leadership in the care of the mentally ill, including an advanced occupational therapy program, early childhood education facilities for staff, and a long-term concern for community health issues. As such, Danvers State Hospital has integrity in location, design, environment, materials and workmanship. Caring for the disadvantaged, including the poor, sick, and mentally disturbed, has been recognized as a public sector responsibility in Massachusetts since its colonial days in the early 17th century. Until the middle of the 19th century, the responsibility for their care rested mainly with the cities, where they lived in locally established asylums: when the cities' duties in this regard became complicated and largely unfulfilled, partly due to immigration pressures and the Growing numbers of the restless poor, the state began to form first the Board of Foreign Passengers' Commissioners (1851) and in 1863 the Board of State Charities. Although still administratively grouped, different facilities and types of care were gradually made available to victims of different types of calamities. For example, in 1863, three state hospitals were built specifically for the insane: in Worcester (1877), in Taunton (1854) and in Northampton (1856). The Kirkbride Plan required that mental institutions:

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (2)
HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (3)

Dorothea Dix


eu.be built “on the ground”, although they are accessible at any time of the year

2.be built on land of at least 100 hectares

3.Space for a maximum of 250 patients

4.be constructed of stone or brick with a roof of slate or metal and be as fireproof as possible

5.are made up of 8 wards separated by sex and built according to different specifications in terms of size, location and material of the accommodation

6.be organized with wards flanking a central administration building

7.Put the most "excited" patients in the last ward or the outermost ward

8.ensure plenty of "pure fresh air"

Kirkbride's hospitals were intended to be monuments to the belief that most insane people are curable and that the hospital's function is therefore primarily curative rather than penal. This healing process should be strongly promoted by a pleasant environment, pure air and pure water. Mature Massachusetts examples of the Kirkbride plan exist in Danvers and Worcester.

The immediate crisis that led to the construction of a mental hospital north of Boston was the impending closure of the South Boston municipal facility in the early 1870s. housed 1,300 patients in facilities designed for 1,000. another 1,200 were scattered in other less specialized institutions. That year, approval was granted for a "state psychiatric hospital" in Danvers. The aim was to primarily serve Essex County patients and accommodate a defection of at least 200 from South Boston.

Bradlee's design for Danvers State Hospital was based on his 1867 unbuilt plan and his 1868 plan for an insane asylum in Winthrop. Many locations were chosen, including Nahant, Chelsea, Dorchester and Roxbury, but the state purchased land in Winthrop. After several appeals to move Winthrop to another location, Danvers was eventually chosen. A logical choice of the Danvers Commissioners in December 1873, he prepared this project by examining hospitals in Worcester, MA, Poughkeepsie, NY, Concord, NH, Philadelphia, Trenton, and a hospital under construction in Morristown, NJ. On that basis, he asked for $900,000, nearly half of what the commissioners had allocated in April, and chose draftsman James F. Ellis to be the lead architect during construction. The Danvers lot, originally 197.25 acres and purchased for $39,542.50, was selected for its beauty, privacy, views and agricultural potential. Eighteen miles north of Boston, 2 miles west of Danvers, 7 miles from the Salem coal port, accessibility for visitors and the supply of heating oil were also important factors. "Swan's Crossing" station (later renamed Asylum Station) on the Lawrence Branch of the Eastern Railroad was at the northern edge of the section. A comprehensive site plan was drawn up under the direction of Lynn engineer Charles Hammond, locating the main building at the top of Hathorne Hill and also providing a supporting road network and space for a farm.

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (4)

Bradlee's 1867 plan for the State Lunatic Hospital in Winthrop

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (5)

Bradlee's 1868 plan for the State Lunatic Hospital in Winthrop

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (6)

Bradlee's 1874 plan for the State Lunatic Hospital in Danvers

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (7)

Bradlee's 1867 drawing for the State Lunatic Hospital in Winthrop

(Video) Final Asylum: The Closing of Philadelphia State Hospital (Part 1) [a.k.a. Byberry]

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (8)

Bradlee's 1868 drawing for the State Lunatic Hospital in Winthrop

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (9)

Bradlee's 1874 design for the State Lunatic Hospital in Danvers

(Video) Institutionalized: The Story of State Hospitals

Bitter controversies over the Danvers State Hospital building centered on its configuration, ornamentation, and cost. Construction began on May 1, 1874 and cost $1,464,940. 57. Many agreed that "Danvers was among the foremost in its arrangements for convenience in practical operation, its precautions to secure the purity of the atmosphere necessary for the perfection of sanitary conditions, and in its general adaptation to the intended purpose." They praised "the plan, the style, the architect and the rigor and persistence of the work already done".

In 1877 there was a cost overrun inquiry which inevitably raised questions about the style of the hospital, described by Bradlee as "Domestic Gothic". The commissioners defended their designs, which, when displayed at the Philadelphia International Exposition, received the only award given to that country for hospital designs for the mentally ill. Others sided with Senator Sanborn, who called it a "palace hospital at Danvers" and argued that "even some royal palaces are not as grand nor as architecturally pretentious as the hospital at Danvers." (Sanborn, E.F.; The Hospital Palace at Danvers; 1877). Pliny Earle, then superintendent of the State Lunatic Asylum in Northampton, "denounced the trend of excessive ornamentation in hospital architecture, preferring comfortable interiors to "ornate exteriors", suggesting that domes, turrets and turrets "were used at universities such as Harvard and Yale are very properly placed in New York, but they are hardly appropriate when they stand as memorials to the calamities and misery of men.” .)

The committee of inquiry concluded that a number of errors of assessment had been made. While hospital commissioners were "relieved" from the start as a reprimand, $150,000 was allocated to allow construction to be completed. The first patient was admitted on May 13, 1878. The provision of pure water, an important part of 19th century psychiatric therapy, was also the subject of contention during the construction of the hospital and in the early years. The nearby Ipswich River was tapped as a source early on. Eventually the City of Danvers, which had established its own water supply from Middleton Pond at Wills' Hill in 1874, agreed to meet the hospital's needs as well. In 1876, an agreement was reached whereby the city would build its own intermediate reservoir on the site to feed a gravity feed system through a series of ten 5,000-gallon tanks in the attic.

By the turn of the 20th century, Danvers State Hospital had outgrown its location and facilities. So in 1902 another 100 acres were purchased between the towns of Danvers and Middleton and a major building campaign was undertaken. Hospital expansions in the 20th century reflect not only the growth of the patient population, but also an increased emphasis on occupational therapy and current theories of decentralized care. Large barns (demolished) were built, as were new buildings for the men who helped the agricultural enterprise. Grove Hall and Farm Halland for Women with Chronic Patients (Middleton Colony 1903). In fact, in the very first year of operation, when the floor plan was drawn up, there were already roads, fences, a pigsty, a barn, a shed for wagons, manure and an apple orchard. After just the second, 50 wooden strings and 10,386 pounds. of fresh pork were carried out. The farm continued to grow and prosper and soon became a famous model. The Danvers onion, sourced locally by the Gregory Seed Co., was among the many vegetables grown. Elaborate pleasure gardens were created adjacent to the Kirkbride complex to complement recreational therapy programs. In fact, Danvers State Hospital was so remarkable that as early as 1880 it attracted 12,000 visitors a year. In addition to visiting patients, they brought books, magazines, and flowers and held religious services. In this way, a pattern of community involvement was established for which the hospital later became known.

As originally stipulated, Danvers Hospital would be managed by a resident superintendent appointed by an unpaid board of trustees elected by the governor. Central authority rested with the State Board of Charities (after 1879 - State Board of Health, Madness and Charity). In 1898, the leadership of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts increased radically with information from the State Board of Insanity, the first in the United States. Reference legislation:

eu.took the poor out of asylums and placed them under state control.

2.Occupational therapy and social services introduced.

3.emphasized mental hygiene and called for the professional training of nurses.

Danvers State Hospital became a leader in implementing these progressive and humanitarian principles, becoming one of "the most progressive institutions of its kind in the country, providing all practical means for the intelligent treatment of insanity as a disease". (Frank E. Moynaham (Editor), Danvers, Massachusetts (Danvers: Danvers Mirror, 1899) Danvers State made extensive use of occupational therapy early on. In addition to working on the farm and in the greenhouses, patients repaired facilities (such as how to the 1912 reservoir), dug tunnels (like the 1913 one for the nurses' house) and built small buildings (like the 1917 slaughterhouse, which was built with concrete blocks made by patients), also made shoes and participated in other trades and Montessori kindergarten exercises were sold to the public and displayed (along with presentations on the hospital's latest therapeutic techniques) at expositions such as the Boston Mechanics Hall Textile Show (1916) and Stoneham's (1919), representing the thinking more progressive contemporary (despite epidemics such as the great dysentery outbreak of 1908, which killed 36 people) The main components of the program were recreational therapy (garden s, etc.) f fresh air provided by an advanced ventilation system and especially hydrotherapy. It was believed that the use of water baths to improve the brain's congested condition would allow for weaning from irritating bondage and depressant medications, and the Department of Advanced Pathology supported the hygiene effort.

Danvers State Hospital founded the second nursing school in Massachusetts (1889) and the second nursing home in the state (Gray Gables - 1898). It had already pioneered being the first psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts to employ a female doctor (1879). In the late 1920s, two large nursing homes were built on the property, one for nurses and one for men.

The hospital has been a leader in community engagement since its inception. As early as 1907, the Superintendent advocated a preventive mental health program. In 1909, the Danvers Series was created to share the hospital's research. By 1912, there was an active community mental health program. "From this beginning grew the Massachusetts plan, in which the state hospital will be considered the center of mental hygiene and psychiatric activities throughout the district." Around the same time the Massachusetts Plan was popularized, in 1938, the current Department of Mental Health was established. He succeeded the Commission on Mental Illness that replaced the State Board of Insanity in 1916.

Cini, M. M. (1983).National Register of Historic Places nomination form.Boston, MA. e John Gray

HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (10)
HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (11)
HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (12)
HISTORY PAGE 2| Danvers State Hospital | Danvers State Insane Asylum (13)
(Video) Danvers State Hospital Retelling


What hospital is Arkham Asylum based on? ›

The Danvers State Hospital is believed by literary historians to have served as inspiration for the infamous Arkham sanatorium from H.P. Lovecraft's "The Thing on the Doorstep". (Lovecraft's Arkham, in turn, is the inspiration for Arkham Asylum, a psychiatric hospital within the Batman universe.)

Is Parsons State insane asylum real? ›

The Hospital opened in 1903 as a State Hospital for Epileptics. In 1957, the Hospital was renamed Parsons State Hospital and Training Center and began providing programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The Hospital occupies 43 buildings on 163 acres.

What is the most famous insane asylum? ›

The Bloomingdale Insane Asylum (1821–1889) was an American private hospital for the care of the mentally ill, founded by New York Hospital. It was located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, where Columbia University is now located.

What is the history of the South Carolina State Hospital? ›

Founded in 1821 as the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, it was one of the first public mental hospitals established in the United States. The Mills Building, its first building, was designed by early American architect Robert Mills, and is a National Historic Landmark.

What is the oldest insane asylum in America? ›

The oldest psychiatric hospital in the country is the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia, which was founded in 1773 and remains in operation today as a psychiatric hospital. Other than Eastern State Hospital of Virginia, no psychiatric hospital is older than Spring Grove.

What was the first insane asylum in America? ›

1752. The Quakers in Philadelphia were the first in America to make an organized effort to care for the mentally ill. The newly-opened Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia provided rooms in the basement complete with shackles attached to the walls to house a small number of mentally ill patients.


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