The Times has a story about mentally-ill housing being turned into rentals and condos, across the nation.  The story includes updates on the conversion to residential housing of Danvers State Hospital.

The hospital has been closed for many years.  It has been the subject of several books as well the location for at least one movie.

FOR 150 years or so, the brick buildings of the Northampton State Hospital have loomed large over this western Massachusetts city. At its peak, the hospital housed 2,400 people with mental illnesses.


Ten years ago, the state closed the hospital, which abuts Smith College, and the 70 buildings were left empty. Now, the 126-acre property, within walking distance of the downtown, is shedding its ghosts and being transformed into a mixed-use development …

… When it is finished, there will be 207 housing units. “It is a model of how to develop new housing with a compact footprint,” said Northampton’s mayor, Claire Higgins.

The same scene is playing nationwide, as municipalities and developers look for ways to grow in a confined space, while revitalizing shuttered mental hospitals. Although there is sometimes controversy about demolishing the old buildings, the sites have no problem attracting developers or buyers.

Source: Danvers State Hospital: Abandoned Hospitals for the Mentally Ill Morph Into Housing – by Katie Zezima, The New York Times

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