Medfield State Hospital Redevelopment:
MEDFIELD, MA – Through various actions, Medfield has long prioritized preservation of the Medfield State Hospital buildings and campus layout. The Medfield State Hospital (MSH) was first listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. At the time of listing the district encompassed 78 contributing resources and 8 noncontributing resources. The Hospital Farm Historic District was created by Town Meeting in 1994 and includes the buildings and the historic landscape surrounding the buildings north of Hospital Road, and established local review of the eventual reuse of the property long before the Hospital’s official closure in 2003.
According to the National Register Registration Form (page 6), the original or first-phase buildings (1896-1897) were designed in the Queen Anne style by Boston architect William Pitt Wentworth. They are unified by the repetition of materials and decorative motifs and are distinguished by individualized plans and massing. All are characterized by red-brick construction, granite foundations, slate roofs, heavily corbelled cornices, segmentally arched windows which typically contained 6/6 sash and transoms, red sandstone watertables and lintels, and decorative angled soldier courses connecting first-story window heads. Those facing the green are arranged in a complex mirror-image pattern.
Later buildings from the early 20th century (1898-1914 and later) are generally somewhat larger in scale and designed in a variety of Classical Revival styles. Nevertheless, they generally continue the original red-brick construction, but often substitute cast stone for natural stone trim. Several smaller-scale Craftsman-style cottages and a number of the support/agricultural buildings were added at this time as well. In some cases, the siting of these buildings maintains the complex mirror-image plan. Architects identified for these buildings include such noted Boston firms as Park & Kendall, Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, and Winslow, Wetherell & Bigelow.
The Medfield State Hospital meets criteria A and C of the National Register of Historic Places and is significant on the local and state levels. As a whole, the buildings and landscapes of Medfield State Hospital retain a high degree of integrity and clearly reflect the period of significance from 1892 to 1940.