Category Archives: MSH Updates

It’s official!

127 acres of the former Medfield State Hospital property belongs to the Town of Medfield. The Selectmen signed the final documents – the LDA or Land Disposition Agreement last night, December 2, 2014. The closing took place today, December 3, 2014 in Dedham.

The transfer of ownership of approximately 127 acres of the former Medfield State Hospital from The Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to the Town of Medfield took place in early December.  In the negotiated deal, the Town purchased the land for $3.1 million payable in equal installments over ten years.

The purchase includes the approximately 87 acre “core campus” and the approximately 40 acre Sledding Hill across Hospital Road.

The core campus includes over 35 buildings, which are predominantly brick construction and in varying states of disrepair. The cottage style of the buildings symmetrically arranged around a central green represent the first example of this type of architectural layout for a State Hospital.  Consequently, the hospital is registered with The National Historic Register, The Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Medfield Historic District Commission.

The Selectmen have appointed a Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee (MSHMPC) to recommend a re-use plan for the property.  Please go to or for updates on the progress regarding this opportunity for the Town.

Wentworth Presentation

View Adaptive Re-use Plans for Medfield State Hospital Designed by Wentworth Institute of Technology Students

All are invited to attend a reception and exhibition of final design projects for a historic section of the Medfield State Hospital including the Chapel (Lee Building,) Infirmary, and Club House.  The event will take place on Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 3:00 PM to 7:30 PM in Watson Auditorium at Wentworth Institute of Technology, 550 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02116.

Student teams will present their innovative designs based on the adaptive re-use of the former hospital into one of the following five facilities:

  • A Culinary Center
  • A Center for the Arts
  • Student Union and Library for a Community College
  • Museum and Visitors Center
  • Outpatient and Clinical Research Center

Earlier in the year the Architecture and Interior Design students toured the hospital property.  They were granted access inside the Lee Chapel and provided copies of the original architectural drawings.  After completing initial designs, they then collaborated with Construction Management, Civil Engineering, Structural Design, Mechanical Design and Facilities Management to create innovative and creative plans for the site.  Law students were also involved regarding major legal issues such as bylaws and hazardous waste disposal.  In total, over 90 students worked on these projects under coordination and direction of seven faculty members.

The Culinary Center proposal used the surrounding agricultural lands as their source of food, including green houses for the winter months. Three Museum and Visitor Center proposals included a theater, historical museum that could include gallery space for a history of the hospital, history of treatment for mental illness, and even space or home for the Medfield Historical Society. The Center for the Arts adopted the Chapel for a performing arts theater and surrounding space for work areas, studios, and cafes.

Town officials and residents are all invited to this exciting exhibition on April 17th.

For additional information please contact Prof. Charles Cimino at 617-989-4467 /, or Gil Rodgers at 617-792-0583 /

Town Election Results

Thanks to the residents who went to the polls on Monday March 31.  Despite the foul weather, almost 1,400 voters cast ballots and 92% voted in favor of authorizing the purchase of 134 acres of State Hospital land by the town.  This was a major hurdle in the process and sends a good message to our legislators that the town is in favor of purchasing the parcels.  The next steps will be to develop a detailed master plan and to get the enabling legislation passed through the various chambers of state government!


Town Meeting Results

Thanks to all the residents and non-voting guests who came out to the town meeting on March 10.  The crowd was so big that the gymnasium was full and overflow seating was needed in the cafeteria.

After presentation of the articles, recommendations from the selectmen and the warrant committee, and a slide show presented by SHAC Chairman Steve Nolan, the three warrant articles passed by near unanimous consent, well more than the required two-thirds majority.

The next step in the process is a vote at the town election on March 31.  Please remember to go to the polls and cast your vote.



Did you know? Term Sheet and Visioning Forum

Did you know that the Board of Selectmen recently accepted and signed a term sheet with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (DCAMM) detailing the potential sale of approximately 134 acres of the Medfield State Hospital (consisting of the central campus and the Sledding Hill) to the Town of Medfield for $3.1 million?  The term sheet merely outlines the conditions of the sale and does not authorize the transaction.  The purchase would take place only after a detailed purchase and sales agreement has been agreed upon  and approved by the residents of Medfield.  A special town meeting (STM) will be scheduled in the next few months to obtain the decision from the community on purchase of the property.

Due to legislative issues surrounding the purchase, the transaction must be completed by December, 2014.  The State Hospital Advisory Committee (SHAC) held a meeting with key town employees on December 12, 2013 to discuss potential uses for the property and the effect of those uses on Medfield’s resources.  On Saturday, January 11, 2014 the SHAC will hold an open meeting for residents to express their thoughts and ideas on re-use of the property.  Please plan to attend the January 11, 2014 meeting at the Center at Medfield, One Ice house Road to have your voice heard.

Did you know – Building Conditions

Did you know that the lovely brick buildings at the Medfield State Hospital all harbor various states of disrepair on the inside?  In 2003 the State hired Lozano, Baskin and Associates, specialists in architecture and urban design, to conduct an assessment of the architectural and structural integrity of the buildings on the property.  The study was very complimentary of the “architectural significance of the complex,” especially the core campus arranged around a “village green.”  However, the study did recommend the demolition of a few of the structures such as The Clark Building, the green house, and the shop building, and found that “many of the buildings are in fair condition at best,” citing dry rot on the first floor wood structures as the “main deterioration observed in buildings mothballed decades ago.” Since that time the buildings have continued to deteriorate.  The State Hospital Advisory Committee (SHAC) is getting a new assessment of the buildings to have a better idea of the costs involved in their potential rehabilitation and will have that information early in 2014.

Did you know… MSH and the Norfolk Hunt Club

Did you know that the Norfolk Hunt Club has been hunting on the Medfield State Hospital property since 1900? In the 1950’s, the Hunt would notify the hospital so that they could open the gates allowing the Hunt through.  Often the patients would watch horses, riders and hounds as they galloped past the facility in the adjacent fields, often en route to the Leverett Saltonstall property in Dover.  This Thanksgiving Day the Hunt will continue its tradition of going through the property.  You can watch the approximately 75 – 90 horses and riders, accompanied by 30+ hounds as they arrive at the Sledding Hill around 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 28.

MFH 2003 (Ruth)