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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Vermont State Hospital Historic District
Reference Number 16000765
State Vermont
County Washington
Town Waterbury
Street Address Horseshoe & State Drs., Park Row
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 11/8/2016
Areas of Significance Health/Medicine, Architecture
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The Vermont State Hospital Historic District is significant under Criterion A for its role in the history of mental health treatment in Vermont and in the United States. In addition to the original, congregate plan asylum building deliberately located in a calm, bucolic setting, the district includes all of the well-preserved, important detached program buildings built by the hospital such as laboratories, medical and surgical facilities, administration offices and staff dormitories The complex represents the evolving approach to mental health care in the state from the consolidated housing of all patients, staff, and functions under one, sometimes very large, roof to a more specialized and increasingly scientific approach that required detached buildings to segregate functions, types of patients and staff for reasons of health and safety, social benefit, employee respite, as well as medical and technical practicality. Eventually, with the development of pharmaceutical treatments as the dominant approach to psychiatric care, deinstitutionalization ended the expansion of the campus in the mid-20th century and thus its primary period of significance. It is also significant under Criterion C as an intact example of a late-19th century mental institution designed by the nationally-renowned architectural firm of Rand & Taylor. Listed in the National Register in 1978 as a contributing resource in the Waterbury Village Historic District, the complex had previously been recognized primarily for its importance locally as major economic anchor and employer to the town. Following flood damage in 2011, the original Rand & Taylor buildings of 1891-1896 have been fully restored on the exterior and on the interior, where historic features remained intact. The period of significance is 1891-1949, which encompasses the construction of the first buildings on the site and the construction of the last contributing building on the site today.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria