Foxboro State Hospital

Located in Foxboro, MA US

  • Built:N/A
  • Opened:1889
  • Age:129 years
  • Closed:1976
  • Demo / Renovated:2009
  • Decaying for:33 years
  • Last Known Status:Renovated

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Foxboro State Hospital History

The latter course of the 19th century was a period when alcoholism and drug abuse was treated with a similar regard as insanity. As the curative power of the asylum became the recommended treatment by physicians, specialized inebriate asylums were constructed to confine the patient in an effort to dispel the craving for alcohol. The Massachusetts Hospital for Dipsomaniacs and Inebriates in Foxborough was no doubt the finest in the state. Designed by architect Charles Brigham, the hospital consisted of a number of separate treatment pavilions adorned with ornate cupolas.

By the turn of the century, the performance of treating inebriates in an asylum setting proved largely ineffective, and the state badly needed space to alleviate its overcrowded psychiatric hospitals. In 1905 the facility began a transition to treat psychiatric illnesses; the name of the institution was changed to Foxborough (or Foxboro) State Hospital in 1910 to reflect this. By 1914, all drug and alcohol related cases were transferred to the facility in Norfolk (Pondville State Hospital).

The series of buildings originally designed to isolate alcoholics were bridged together sometime after the conversion to a mental health center. The wide passages that connected the dormitories were used as day rooms. A large addition in the 1950s created additional dormitory space, transforming the hospital's footprint into an L-shape. Other facilities on campus included a theater building, chapel, farm, staff residences, and two patient cemeteries, holding an estimated 1,100 unknown remains.

In 1976, Foxboro State Hospital ended psychiatric services, however various entities continued to operate on the campus such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, and Jaycee's Haunted House attraction in the hospital's theater. Some dormitories werealso still utilized by the Department of Mental Health as a developmental center. These entities ceased operations sometime in early the 1990s due to the risks of asbestos and general deterioration, and the facility was left abandoned.

In 2009, the hospital was renovated into a residential-retail-office complex called Chestnut Green.

Historic Images

Photos of Foxboro State Hospital