Filed under: Estates
The site of the Danvers State Hospital for the mentally ill in Massachusetts is being renovated by Avalon Bay Communities, Inc. into a complex of luxury condos. Avalon is planning on putting in 497 units in total. They intend to create a "'campus-like environment' with a swimming pool, WiFi cafe and fitness center. Rents will start around $1,400 for a one-bedroom, and about half-a-million dollars for a condo." The 40 or so buildings on the 75-acre property are being demolished, though the central portion of the original 313,000-square foot Kirkbridge building, pictured, is being preserved as an historical monument.
The hospital was built in the 1870's and has been called one of the "world's scariest buildings." Some people believe that it is even haunted. The architecture is Gothic and the majority of the rooms were built in the style of a dormitory, as the facility was meant to house around 600 patients. During the 1950s, allegations of various shock therapies and lobotomies being used to control the overcrowded facility that held more than 2,000 residents were common and continued until the Hospital was completely closed in 1992. Avalon Bay bought the facility for $18 million.