Metropolitan State Hospital

Exterior of a four story red brick building with boarded up windows.
The Gaebler Children's Center at the abandoned Metropolitan State Hospital. Photo by Crash575.

CC-BY-3.0. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gaebler_Children%27s_Center_Exterior_Photo.jpg

Quick Facts

Location:
475 Trapelo Road, Waltham, Lexington, Belmont, Massachusetts
Significance:
Social History, Health/Medicine, Architecture
Designation:
National Register of Historic Places
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
No

Established in October 1930, Metropolitan State Hospital was to be the last of the institutions created by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to care for its citizens with mental health and developmental disabilities. As such, it represents the most mature and cohesive expression of the state's twentieth-century goals. In its great size, it reflects the custodial concerns pressed on the state by ever-increasing numbers of patients. In its attempts to create individualized wards within the program of one large building, it reflects the strongly rehabilitative ideals of the system's early nineteenth-century founders. Architecturally, it represents the final step in the evolution from congregate Kirkbride hospitals to dispersed cottage or colony plan campuses. Designed with a mandate to develop standard building types to serve established functions, it was used as model for post-1930 expansion at other state hospital campuses. The pastoral grounds are also among the few in the system to be designed by a known landscape architect. Metropolitan State Hospital clearly reflects the development of the State Hospital and School System, with a period of significance extending from 1927 to 1940.

National Register Nomination