Update from the Town of Medfield, Board of Selectmen
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The Chapel

Medfield State Hospital Redevelopment:
Trinity Financial's Proposal


The following is excerpted from Trinity Financial’s proposal submitted in August 2021, in response to the Town’s Request for Proposals for the redevelopment of the Medfield State Hospital. Trinity provided updates from their ongoing due diligence process for this correspondence.
Perched high at the northwest corner of Medfield, overlooking the Charles River and nestled amidst a bucolic landscape of trees and walking trails, sit the majestic buildings of the former Medfield State Hospital Campus. The redevelopment of the Campus is a significant and important undertaking, breathing new life into buildings that have sat dormant for
many years, and reimagining the site as a destination for health, wellness and creativity.
At the end of the 19th century, the Medfield State Hospital’s historic layout represented an innovative approach to mental and physical health. With an emphasis on rehabilitation and recovery, the design enabled patients to live in a light and airy home-like setting as opposed to a single central building. Today, in a post-pandemic environment, the attractiveness of the cottage plan, with its village green and wide-open spaces, provided the inspiration for our reimagining of the site as a haven for future residents who seek respite in the outdoors and the arts.
The development team’s proposal draws inspiration from the site’s history to design a series of places, for residents and the public alike, that transform the perception of the property from one of “institutionalization” and “confinement” to one of open air, interaction, and healthy living. Much in the way that the original campus was a leader in its time in terms of progressive and humane thinking about the treatment of mental illnesses, our goal is to elevate this development into
high quality multi-family housing, that welcomes the public into parts of the campus and taps into the synergies created by the interaction of residents, visitors, and the arts.
Trinity’s proposed redevelopment of the MSH Campus will be tailored to meet the contemporary housing and recreational needs of the Medfield community, by preserving spectacular open space for public enjoyment, and reimagining the existing historic buildings as new homes for a wide range of residents. This hillside location, with its stately buildings, old growth tree canopy, and spectacular open space, will be embraced as an enriching environment for residents and neighbors alike, reconnecting them to a greater outdoors and creative community.

Trinity’s redevelopment approach utilizes the Commonwealth’s sustainable development principles, environmental impact, and conservation of resources. The plan incorporates a strategy to address energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, and water use as well as high energy performance building standards and landscape preservation.
Trinity’s campus renewal plan respects and enhances the historic character of the site, while reshaping the identity of this place as a revitalized neighborhood environment. Built in a Queen Anne style typical of this generation of hospital institutions, these buildings will be renovated to offer a decidedly residential feel. Residential apartments will be combined with creative amenities to complement the new Cultural Arts Center. Open spaces will be reinvigorated to create more accessible, inviting, and usable areas. The plan connects open space elements across the site, encouraging walking and casual, chance meetings for residents.
Key features of this renewal plan include:
  • A True Mix of Uses –The plan proposes the adaptive reuse of the existing buildings into multifamily housing and ancillary amenity space, comprising approximately 351,259 SF, excluding attics and basements. Trinity’s plan marries complementary residential uses with the proposed Cultural Alliance of Medfield’s plan for cultural and arts uses on Buildings 24 and 25. Additionally, it invites community use of open space, to anchor and sustain residents of all ages and interests. The proposed building program provides a diverse array of unit types, service space, and amenity areas.
    • The certified Historic Rehabilitation of the Buildings
    • The Proposed demolition of Non-Contributing buildings Number 10 (Mechanic/Machine Shop) and Number 27b (Bakery/Food Service)
    • Support for the Cultural Alliance of Medfield’s plan for the Cultural Arts Center in the Lee Chapel and the Infirmary (Buildings 24 and 25).
  • Responsive to MSH Design Guidelines - The proposed plan is responsive to the priorities called out in the 2018 Medfield State Hospital Strategic Re-Use Master Plan Medfield’s priorities for reuses of the MSH property in the following manner:
    • Maintains and enhances the character and values of the town of Medfield and its residents. Our plan is the adaptive reuse of all campus buildings (other than those proposed for demolition) without new construction. No new buildings are proposed. This plan assures preservation of the hilltop quadrangle and long views from it. Reuse of existing buildings will preserve viewsheds between buildings and the historic rhythm/spacing of the campus buildings.
    • Addresses Town housing needs. By staying within the historic footprint of the building we are providing opportunities for those individuals who are downsizing and would like to remain in the area. Our inclusion of 25% affordable housing for the site is aligned with the Town’s Housing Production Plan.
    • Achieves reasonable economic and financial impacts on Medfield residents and Town services. Our plan is in the best financial interest of the Town, who will benefit from the new property and excise taxes that are derived from new residents. Many of the expenses the town currently incurs on maintenance of the property will be assumed by the ownership of the site.
  • A Celebration of History. We will work within the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, respecting the historic integrity of the grand buildings. Adaptive use will preserve all "character defining features" of the exterior and interior, including entries, corridors, and stairways. While we are not expecting major new additions, we may need to add some entry stoops/ramps for accessible building entry that will complement, rather than replicate, the historic character of the site and buildings. There may be some connectors and service additions that were added on over the years that we propose to remove; we will work with the preservation consultant to determine which elements can be modified. We will reuse all the existing entry lobbies and incorporate additional exterior doors into unit entries if they meet accessibility guidelines. Broad porches will again provide a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Where existing buildings offer windowed gabled ends, we may take the opportunity to create some duplex units up into building attics, if feasible.
  • Community & Art - Central Gathering Space – Buildings at the center of the open green will be developed with Arts and Community Uses. At the heart of the community, Buildings 24 & 25 – the former Chapel and Rectory, will be the Cultural Arts Center, inviting the broader community onto the site. Supporting that use, we propose to endeavor to create an artist preference for 10% of our affordable rental units. Located between these buildings, Building 26 will become a Community Clubhouse, an amenity destination for residents and neighbors alike. Interior streets will be decoratively paved and raised to slow traffic but allow drop off and access to parking courts. The open space created by the demolition of the Kitchen building will provide space for an open landscape, allowing an opportunity for residents to spontaneously play frisbee or lounge on picnic blankets and read a book. Widened sidewalks will be landscaped to provide places to sit and engage. Accessibility will be enhanced.
Please mark your calendars for the upcoming public events:
  • May 18 at 11 am: Trinity Financial presentation at the Council on Aging for seniors
  • May 18 at 7 pm: Trinity Financial presentation at the Council on Aging for the public. This information session will also be available on Zoom.
  • June 9 at 7 pm: Pre-Town Meeting MSH Info Session (Location TBD)
  • June 18 at 9 am: Trinity Financial open office hours at the Medfield Town Hall – all are welcome
For more information, please go to
Please use the form at this link to submit questions and comments  to the Medfield State Hospital Development Committee regarding Trinity Financial's proposed redevelopment of the Medfield State Hospital.



Nicholas Milano, Assistant Town Administrator  


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