Danvers State Hospital the scariest building in North America goes upscale

Avalon Bay Communities has announced plans to turn parts of Danvers State Hospital into apartments and condos.  That’ll be a bit of an improvement.  Growing up in Topsfield, we used to go down there once in awhile to scare ourselves (apologies to patients).  Oh, wasted youth.

By Michael Corkery, The Wall Street Journal

DANVERS, Mass. — Perched on a hill and surrounded by forests and hay fields sits an imposing brick structure that one visitor called “the scariest building in North America.” It’s the former Danvers State Hospital, the setting of a 2001 horror movie and a painful reminder of the brutalities of institutionalized mental-health care.

Now, Danvers State is shedding its past. AvalonBay Communities Inc., a leading U.S. real-estate developer, plans to build 497 high-end apartments and condos on the 75-acre property, located just north of Boston. The company is building an additional 387 rental units and a nine-hole golf course at another former mental hospital in another Boston suburb.

Complete article: Converting Grim Asylums Into Grand Apartments

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