Buildings Start to Come Down at State Hospital
Tuesday, March 18th 2003
NORTHAMPTON - The face of the former Northampton State Hospital is starting to change, as a set of old houses and garages was razed this month.
The buildings are the first to come down as part of a massive renovation of the campus into a mixed housing and commercial community. Next on the demolition list is the site's power plant and its towering smoke stack on Earle Street.
Visible from Route 66, on the southern part of the campus, five former residences of hospital staff have been demolished.
The sites were leveled to make way for commercial space, says David Webster, vice president of community planning at MassDevelopment, the quasi-public agency in charge of the project. MassDevelopment is working with the Community Builders of Springfield.
As of yet, Webster said, the commercial sites have not been secured by specific users.
Over the next several years, the campus will transform into Hospital Hill, comprising 207 housing units and 551,000 square feet of commercial development.
The hospital officially closed in 1993, though some buildings were sealed as long as 20 years ago. Over time, water damage and age, developers say, have made most buildings on the grounds unfit for reuse.
Of the more than 70 structures on the 124-acre site now, MassDevelopment's current plan recommends only eight of them for renovation. The rest will be demolished.
Before each comes down, it must be cleared for asbestos, Webster said.
Associated Building Wreckers of Springfield and Costello Dismantling Co. of Middleborough are doing the demolition, which should be done by early spring, Webster said.
This article was written by Kristi Ceccarossi and published by Northampton Gazette on Tuesday, March 18th 2003 and NOT owned by nor affiliated with opacity.us, but are recorded here solely for educational use. The photographs featured in the article are randomly selected from the Northampton State Hospital galleries on opacity.us unless noted otherwise; they may not directly relate to the article subject matter except for the site location - any other relation is purely coincidental.