Foxborough State Hospital, Massachusetts Hospital for Dipsomaniacs & Inebriates

Exterior of a red brick institutional building
Foxborough State Hospital. Photo by Marc N. Belanger (Public Domain).

Quick Facts

Jct. of Chestnut and Main Sts., Foxborough, Massachusetts
Social History, Health/Medicine, Architecture
National Register of Historic Places

Foxborough State Hospital was established in 1889 as the Massachusetts Hospital for Dipsomaniacs and Inebriates, in response to the need long identified by various asylum superintendents for a special institution to treat alcoholic patients. It was said to be the first state-operated facility of its type in the nation, so the Trustees expended substantial time and thought in developing an appropriate physical plan and treatment program. Despite this care, the initial site and layout proved unsuitable, and the Trustees were authorized to purchase a new site in 1910. Alcoholic patients were moved to Norfolk in 1914 and the Foxborough facility was converted to a standard state psychiatric hospital. Foxborough State Hospital is significant for its early and innovative role in the development of treatment programs for the disease of alcoholism, and for its continuing associations with the development of the state mental health system.

The early Queen Anne and later Classical Revival-style buildings are excellent examples of their respective types and periods, and the landscape is one of the few for which a landscape architect has been identified. The period of significance extends from the time of authorization in 1889 to 1940, when major building ceased.

Image Source

National Register Nomination

Last updated: September 7, 2017