Worcester State Hospital, Before and After the Fire of 1991 The following slide show was designed by Kim Smith of the Center for Mental Health Services Research at UMMS, and adapted for this web site by Ellen More, of the UMMS Office of Medical History and Archives. Photographs #1, 3, 4, and 6 are taken from old postcards. The rest were photographed by Paul Mange Johansen in 1991 and are used by permission. ©www. Iguana. Photo. com.
Postcard depicting the entrance to Worcester State (Insane) Asylum, founded 1833.
Worcester State Hospital, c. 1880. The land in the foreground is being farmed by the hospital "inmates, " a practice originally designed for therapeutic purposes.
The hospital main entrance with its prominent Clock Tower.
The architectural plan of Worcester State Hospital, successor to the original Insane Asylum, was based on a design by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital from 1841 to 1883. The influential “Kirkbride Plan” was linear, with an imposing, center building, representative of the classical tastes of the time. From the center building, used for administrative offices, wings extended right and left for patients. From the ends of the wings, short cross sections dropped back to connect with more buildings for patients, each one parallel to the original wings. Each ward was set back sufficiently for fresh air to circulate from all four sides. Gerald Grob, The State and the Mentally Ill (1966), pp. 234 -236.
The arrow above depicts the extent of fire damage to the old buildings in 1991.
Damage to Worcester State Hospital after the fire in 1991.
After the fire, a backhoe demolished the buildings little by little.
Here, the backhoe works atop the growing pile of rubble.
The backhoe is finished with demolition.
A modern view of the old Clock Tower. Photo courtesy of Paul Mange Johansen, © 1991: http: //www. Iguana. Photo. com
Links to other photos of Worcester State Hospital: http: //www. Iguana. Photo. com http: //opacity. us/site 56. htm#gallery 90