Name: Taunton State Hospital
Location: Taunton, MA
Current Status: Demolished / half active
Risk Level: Very High
Background: This place was one of a kind. As of January 2010 the old building is no more. It was probably the hardest place ever to get in to, but worth it. Another piece of history gone, but hopefully some of it has been saved through the photographs I and others have shared. Taunton State hospital for the insane was built in 1854 in
The architecture of most of the facility's buildings is of a unique and rare neo-classical style, designed by the architect Elbridge Boyden
. It is also a Kirkbride Plan
Hospital. To relieve the pressure of a rising patient population from its only asylum, the state appointed a commission to find a site for a new asylum in 1851. After its completion in 1854, the second State Lunatic Hospital began taking patients in. Although it was not as large or as architecturally ornate, this asylum was one of the most impressive. One of its most beautiful features were its breezeways which were added in the 1890s to connect the end of the wards to the hospitals infirmary buildings. Its distinct cupolas, large dome, cast-iron capitals and window bars, also gave this building its own very unique personality. In 1975 the hospital was abandoned, as it was no longer needed. Unfortunately nearly twenty-five years after, in 1999 the large dome which towered over the hospitals administration collapsed. Then on the night of March 19, 2006 a massive fire broke out in the center of the building which included the administration, and theater. Afterwards, the fire damaged sections were leveled, leaving only the decaying wings of the kirkbride. The history of these giant buildings has been brought to an end. Being the last kirkbride left standing in the state, the last days were marked as the end of an era. During late May 2009, workers began a complete abatement and demolition on all of the disused buildings on the property. As of Jan 2010 this beautiful historic building is no longer in existence, but the rest of the newer hospital remains active.