This past weekend, my travel companions and I decided to pay one last visit to the Lunatic Asylum at Taunton, as it’s scheduled for demolition and will most likely be coming down this Summer.
Opened in 1854 the Taunton Lunatic Asylum received many of the patients from the overcrowded Worcester State Hospital..
Designed in a new-classical style by the architect Elbridge Boyden, it’s most striking and unique features are the enclosed walkways connecting the main structure to the two infirmary buildings which were added in the 1890’s (one of which is no an active juvenile facility, the bridge having been destroyed). It’s cupolas and cast iron capitals and window bars also add to this buildings unique personality.
The Administration section in the center caught fire and burned in 2006 leaving it a heap of bricks and rubble. All that is left of this beautiful structure are the wings on each side which housed the male and female patients, one sun breezeway, and the Turburculosis infirmary.
It will be a sad day when this building, the last of the Massachusetts Kirkbrides is gone.
For more info and links to more images, including some great b/w exterior shots check out kirkbidebuildings.com