Medfield State Hospital
Thank you for visiting our webpage about the Medfield State Hospital. Use the links on the left to learn more about the strategic reuse master plan, proposed zoning, and other information about the former state hospital.
A Special Town Meeting will be held on Monday, November 18, 2019 to consider adopting the strategic reuse master plan's proposed zoning.
Please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner, with any questions or requests for additional information.
Agenda and minutes for MSHMPC meetings since 2017 can be found at the Town's agenda center by clicking here.
For archived MSHMPC minutes, please click here.
Schedule of Medfied State Hospital Zoning Events:
September 3, 2019: Kick-Off Meeting (Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, MSH Master Planning Committee, MSH Development Committee, Warrant Committee)
September 6, 2019: Legal Notice Ad due to The Press
September 13, 2019: Legal Ad # 1 for Public Hearing Notice
September 20, 2019: Legal Ad # 2 for Public Hearing Notice
October 3, 2019: Public Hearing on Rezoning before Planning Board, Chenery Hall, Town Hall, 7 pm
October 7, 2019: Public Forum at Medfield High School, 7 pm
October 21, 2019: Public Hearing, night 2 before Planning Board
October __, 2019: Warrant Committee consideration, date to be determined
October 29, 2019: Final Language of Zoning Article to Board of Selectmen
October 29, 2019: Town Meeting Warrant Finalized by Board of Selectmen
November 4, 2019: Notice for Special Town Meeting to be posted 14 days prior
November 18, 2019: Planning Board submits verbal report & recommendation to Town Meeting
November 18, 2019: Special Town Meeting
9/29/19 MSH Walking Tour (1 pm)
John Thompson, Chair of the MSH Buildings and Grounds Committee, will be leading a walking tour of the MSH property on Sunday September 29, 2019, at 1:00 pm. The tour will leave from the Service Road entrance, across from the sledding hill, on Hospital Road. It will last for approximately two hours. John will lead a general tour of the property and provide some history and highlights from the Medfield State Hospital Strategic Reuse Master Plan. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. There are no facilities on site. Parking is available at the departure site.
Lets Talk... Share your stories about the Medfield State Hospital to inform a new play (6/26/19)
You’re invited to share your stories about the Medfield State Hospital to help inform an original performance that will be presented in Medfield in October by artist Hortense Gerardo. The stories and oral histories will be part of performative vignettes presented in a family-friendly exploration of the historical achievements in relation to the world-renowned Hospital.
Join us for any one session (or all three) at the Zullo Gallery on Thursdays this summer July 11, 18 or August 8 anytime between 7 pm – 9 pm. Share your favorite memory or tell us about an experience you had at the campus, or complete a short questionnaire if you prefer (link available in July). This program is also supported by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
If you know someone who would like to participate but no longer lives in the area, please contact Jean Mineo at email@example.com or Hortense (617-933-0783) so we can be sure to send them the questionnaire. Thank you!
Medfield State Hospital Activity (6/15/19)
Families looking for a fun, free activity on Father’s Day weekend can head to the Lee Chapel grounds at the Medfield State Hospital (45 Hospital Road) from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 15, to catch “Dad’s Brass Band” from 2 - 4 p.m., as well as lawn games that will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. In the event of rain, music and activities will take place inside the Lee Chapel.
In addition to the band performance and games, other featured activities include a community art project with Kurt Jackson and hands-on papermaking with artist May Babcock. Ruby’s Ice Cream Truck will also be on hand to sell treats.
Performers in the “Dad’s Brass Band” include Medfield residents Don Rankin on tuba, and Tom Duprey on trumpet. Rankin is principal tubist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and Boston Ballet Orchestra; Duprey performs in a number of ensembles, and teaches music in Dover-Sherborn schools and at the college level.
May Babcock is a Rhode Island artist who works in papermaking, printmaking, book arts and art installations. She is known for incorporating materials from a given environment into her projects.
Medfield State Hospital Master Plan Committee Wins Prestigious APA National Planning Award! (5/6/19)
The Medfield State Hospital Master Plan Committee (MSHMPC) was honored to be the recipient of the prestigious 2019 John Keller Award for Outstanding Planning Initiative for the Medfield State Hospital (MSH) Strategic Reuse Master Plan by the Small Town & Rural (STaR) Planning Division of the American Planning Association (APA). The STaR Awards Committee was incredibly impressed with the plan, and felt it embodies the best of small-town planning and as a model for a reuse plan. They acknowledged the strong public and political support for the process and outcome. The MSH Strategic Reuse Master Plan is a detailed plan and specific guide for the reuse and rehabilitation of 39 historic buildings plus selected new construction for a total of 661,000 SF on a 128-acre campus overlooking the Charles River.
The MSH Strategic Reuse Master Plan embraces mixed uses – residential, cultural, and recreational. Key features include:
- Diverse housing types addressing needs for seniors, down-sizers, millennials, and affordability;
- Preservation and restoration of almost all of the existing buildings;
- Maximizing and maintaining open space and vistas to the Charles River watershed;
- Designation of buildings and open area for a cultural hub;
- Allocation of space for a recreational and athletic complex;
- Preservation of scenic landscape with the retention of public access and trails; and
- Protection of surrounding agricultural lands.
The nomination was submitted by Sarah Raposa, Town Planner and Kathy McCabe, Consultant and Owner of McCabe Enterprises. The award was received at the APA Awards Reception and STaR Business Meeting on Sunday, April 14, 2019 during the National Planning Conference in San Francisco, California. Present to receive the award were Sarah Raposa, Kathy McCabe, and Jared Nolan (son of MSHMPC Chair Stephen Nolan and student at UC Berkeley.)
4/28/19 MSH Walking Tour (11 am)
John Thompson, Chair of the MSH Buildings and Grounds Committee, will be leading a walking tour of the MSH property on Sunday April 28, 2019, at 11:00 am. The tour will leave from the Service Road entrance, across from the sledding hill, on Hospital Road. It will last for approximately two hours. John will lead a general tour of the property and provide some history of mental health treatment in the 20th century. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. There are no facilities on site. Parking is available at the departure site.
Medfield Committee Receives Prestigious Planning Project of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Chapter of APA (12/14/18)
The Medfield State Hospital Master Plan Committee (MSHMPC) was honored to receive the prestigious Planning Project of the Year for the Medfield State Hospital Strategic Reuse Master Plan by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association (MA-APA). The plan was recognized for its creative and innovative ideas, refinement of planning techniques, excellence of thought and writing, and providing a model for other communities. An awards luncheon was held at Tufts University on December 14, 2018. Mentioned during the award presentation was the attention to community involvement, best practices, and sustainable development principles. The plan presents a detailed vision and specific guide for the reuse and renovation of 39 historic buildings plus selected new construction for a total of 661,000 square feet on a 128-acre campus overlooking the Charles River. The state hospital campus, once owned by the Commonwealth, was acquired by the Town of Medfield in 2014.
10/20/18 MSH Walking Tour (1 pm)
John Thompson, Chair of the MSH Buildings and Grounds Committee, will be leading a walking tour of the MSH property on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at 1:00 pm. The tour will leave from the Service Road entrance, across from the sledding hill, on Hospital Road. It will last for approximately two hours. John will lead a general tour of the property and provide some history of mental health treatment in the 20th century. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. There are no facilities on site. Parking is available at the departure site.
9/15/18 Medfield Day - Please visit Booth #80
8/20/18 Master Plan
Preferred Master Plan for Medfield State Hospital Released
The Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee is pleased to announce the release of the Medfield State Hospital Strategic Reuse Master Plan for the State Hospital site after four years of intensive effort.
Residential, cultural, commercial, retail, and recreational uses are incorporated into the plan. Key features include:
diverse housing types addressing needs for seniors, down-sizers, millennials, and affordability;
restoration and reuse of almost all of the existing buildings;
maximizing open space and vistas;
buildings and open area for a cultural hub; and
space designated for a recreational and athletic complex.
The plan balances the priorities and desires of the Community with the economic and financial objectives of minimal impacts on school and Town services, minimal effects on property tax rates, and the potential for profitable development from the investor’s perspective.
6/12/18 Joint Meeting with MSHMPC, Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, and Warrant Committee.
Click HERE for meeting materials consisting of:
- Executive Summary
- Map of the preferred scenario
- Presentation for 12 June (with notes)
- Master Plan Table of Contents
6/10/18 MSH Walking Tour
John Thompson, Chair of the MSH Buildings and Grounds Committee, will be leading a walking tour of the MSH property on Sunday, June 10, 2018, at 10 am. The tour will leave from the Service Road entrance, across from the sledding hill, on Hospital Road. It will last for approximately two hours. John will lead a general tour of the property and provide some history of mental health treatment in the 20th century. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water and sunscreen/raincoats. There are no facilities on site. Parking is available at the departure site.
The vision for the redevelopment of the Medfield State Hospital is intended to reflect the values of the Medfield Community. The redeveloped site should also be a resource to residents of other surrounding towns. To that end, the goal is to collect input from residents regarding their values and to understand the impact that those values might have on the ultimate vision for the property.
In November 2014, the Town, acting through its Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, put out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to hire a consulting team to prepare a Strategic Reuse Master Plan for the Medfield State Hospital Core Campus and Sledding Hill plus adjacent Town-owned properties. The work will include:
- Evaluation of existing resources
- Public participation program
- Conceptual land use scenario development
- Evaluation of financial implications for the Town
- Zoning and design guidelines development
- Implementation program and funding resources
- Preparation of developer RFP package for disposition or development
Work is ongoing on the Master Plan.
The master planning process will build upon the work that the Medfield State Hospital Advisory Committee used leading up to the Town Meeting vote to purchase the property:
- Medfield Day 2013
- Medfield Day 2014
- Land Disposition Agreement with Plan
- Surveys and polls
- Public comment
- Facebook page
- A brainstorming workshop for town departments and officials, which was held on December 12, 2013, and is summarized here.
- Public brainstorming workshop which was conducted on January 11, 2014 with the assistance of the strategic planning firm Howard/Stein-Hudson and the landscape architecture firm Dodson & Flinker. You can view the presentation slides here.
- A public vote on the plan at Town Meeting on March 10, 2014 in which the warrant articles related to purchase of the property from the state passed with near unanimous support.
- A public vote at the Town Election on March 31, 2014, in which the measure to authorize the borrowing needed for the purchase passed overwhelmingly.
- The final report from the visioning process is available here.
- Medfield Day 2015
- Community Workshop June 2016
- Developers Roundtable August 2016
- Catalyst meetings with various organizations and developers
- MSHMPC Community Presentation April 2016 (youtube video)
- Medfield Day 2016 (posters)
- Community Open House February 2017 - scroll down for summary, plans, and documents
- Community Workshop May 2017 - scroll down for summary, plans, and documents
- Medfield Day 2017 - scroll down for summary, plans, and documents
Here are links to various maps regarding the MSH Property
This map shows the various parcels involved in the Master Planning activity, including the core campus, the sledding hill, Lot 3, the Hinckley Property, and McCarthy Park. Also shown are parcels retained by the state (including the main agricultural fields on parcels A1 and A2) as well the surrounding neighborhoods.
This map shows the natural resources at the site, including wetlands, flood zones, agricultural areas, trails, etc.
This map shows the historic resources at the site, including the names of the buildings and their relative condition or structural soundness. Also noted are whether each building is a “contributing” or “non-contributing” historic asset.
This map shows the site in the larger context of the northwest quadrant of Medfield as well as surrounding towns.
This map shows the “shared concept plan” that was developed out of the January 11, 2014 Visioning Session that was held at the Center. The afternoon portion of the session had participants break up into groups that each outlined a conceptual plan for the redevelopment of the site. The plan posted here represents a combination of the shared themes that were present among the various groups. It is not the final plan for the site.
Here is a composite aerial image of the property with each building labeled as of 2014. Buildings that have been demolished are also noted.
This map shows buildings that might potentially be demolished under a redevelopment of the site. The current buildings on the site are condemned because they have not been maintained since the hospital was shut down.
This map shows the utility infrastructure that is in place at the hospital. Redevelopment of the site could make use of the existing infrastructure if it is cost effective to do so.
This map from 2005 includes two pages of details regarding zoning, parcel conveyance, and other items. It’s important to note that this map is not up to date.
This map shows an outline of the state hospital property as well as an overlay of land that was identified as “prime agricultural soil”.
On May 24, 2017, the committee held an open house at the Blake Middle School (agenda). The goal was to present two “semi-finalist” scenarios based on the outcome of the February 7, 2017 open house. The slides from this presentation are available here.
We are HERE in the process.
Scenario 1 Town Square
Scenario 2 Rural Village
"Scenario Dashboard" (handout) - highlights the features of each scenario
Informational Display Boards
Attendees broke into small discussion groups to discuss the features of Scenarios 1 and 2 and assess as to the objectives established by the Select Board and the MSHMPC that appeared in the 2015 Town Report. The alternative reuse scenarios try to balance competing uses, needs and priorities incorporating the feedback provided in earlier surveys and at the February 2017 Open House. Small Group Discussion Guidance Blank Matrix
Summary of Comments at the May 24, 2017 MSH Community Workshop
- The Four Scenarios
- PARKLAND - A concept dedicated to maximizing public open space f or active and passive recreation and possible future development
- OPEN SPACE COMMUNITY - A phased development strategy to create a “sense of place” with a mix of moderate-priced and affordable housing and a strong social and market hub around the core campus; priority to open space and recreation, and keeping options open for the future
- PUBLIC DESTINATION - A mission-driven concept that establishes a regional cultural and historic center to bring social and economic diversity to Medfield (builds on the promising findings of a 2016 cultural feasibility study of the
- CARE & COMMUNITY - A redevelopment concept with a
diverse mix of housing; multiple private enterprises, including senior and disability care; and a small commercial center. The goal of this concept is to maximize the economic potential of the property in a community setting
The survey results from our February 2017 open house event are available in compiled format here.
Building Condition and Demolition Studies
Here are links to various studies and reports regarding the hospital property. The studies contained on this page primarily deal with the condition of the buildings on the campus and the possible costs to remediate and demolish some or all of the buildings.
Lozano Baskin and Associates completed a comprehensive study of the building conditions in 2003.
One of the scenarios being evaluated by the MSHMPC is the “non-development scenario.” This is a reference point or baseline to compare to other scenarios in terms of impact (cost and otherwise) to the town. The non-development scenario would involve the removal of all buildings and the return of the site to open land with no planned use.
The engineering firm C3 was hired to update the findings of the Lozano Baskin Study. This study looked at four buildings that are part of the core campus to see how their condition has changed since 2003. With 11 years of elapsed time with minimal maintenance, no heat, and no occupancy, the condition of the buildings have deteriorated. A final version of this study is available here and supplemental data regarding the firm’s professional opinion on cost to demolish or rehab buildings are provided here and here.
In November, 2014, Gil Rodgers compiled his notes from various sources to provide this memorandum of potential demolition costs for buildings at the former MSH site. This includes the experience of DCAMM at MSH and other sites, the experience of demolition contractors, and others.
The firm CDW completed a 2009 study detailing the options regarding demolition of the Clark Building. This demolition was completed in 2012. The Clark Building was located right in the front of the core campus on Hospital Road, near the current security trailer. An update with the actual demolition costs will be forthcoming shortly.
This page provides links to various studies that deal with subjects other than the condition of the buildings and probable demolition costs.
The town commissioned a cultural feasibility study for up to three buildings at the State Hospital, with funding matched by the MA Cultural Facilities Fund. Read the market analysis and financing and operations pro formas by ArtsMarket here and read the building analysis and cost estimates by DBVW Architects here (and presentation to MSHMPC here).
Gil Rodgers and Jean Mineo presented a slide show that documented the results of investigating several local and regional cultural and performing arts centers, with the goal of determining whether a similar venue could be a financially sustainable anchor point and amenity to the future redevelopment of the MSH site.
A followup to that effort was the creation of a Cultural Visioning Committee, which presented this slide show to the Master Planning Committee on April 15, 2015.
The final report that resulted from the 2014 visioning forum that was led by Howard Stein Hudson can be downloaded here.
The town and DCAMM presented a revised remediation plan for the waste site called the C&D Area (Construction and Demolition) and the Power Plant area. The plan was presented to the public in June, 2013 and approved by the Selectmen.
Jones Lang LaSalle completed a study in 2012 that describes the real estate market conditions in the Medfield area, and contemplates various uses for the hospital property and analyzes the potential suitability and demand that would be expected.
In 2004, Larry Koff & Associates completed a visioning study that contemplated various redevelopment options for the site.
2015 RKG Market Study
Here are links to various interviews, notes, and other sources of background information on the site.
John Harney, Gil Rodgers and Ros Smythe conducted an interview with Tony Calo, who was the former Superintendent of MSH. The interview covered various aspects of the hospital’s former use and operation.
Gil Rodgers and Ros Smythe compiled notes regarding the former agricultural operations at the hospital. This interview included information from Tom Sweeney, Darel Nowers, and David Nowers, who were all intimately familiar with the farming operations at MSH. The document includes pictures of the farming operations.
Gil Rodgers came across an interesting article in his research at the Medfield Historical Society Library. The article was written by Veronica Hill, RN who was a nurse at MSH from 1952 – 1987. It is taken from the manuscript “A History of Medfield State Hospital, 1987.”
National Register Information
Fall 2013 Survey Results (From the former State Hospital Advisory Committee)
In the fall of 2013, SHAC published a comprehensive survey to gather input from the community on the future uses of the former MSH site. The survey closed on 12/31/13. The data collected from the survey is available for your review here. This is essentially the raw data from the 258 responses that were collected, both online and via paper copies. There are charts and tables with the results. Also included are all the open ended responses that people had, which are wide-ranging and interesting to review.
A term sheet that outlines the draft of an agreement between the state (DCAMM) and the town was submitted on November 7, 2013, and signed by the Selectmen at their meeting on December 3. This agreement covers the core campus and the sledding hill parcels, and would allow the town to purchase these parcels from the state for a base price of $3,100,000 for the 134 acres of land and the buildings situated thereon. While the term sheet has been signed, several additional steps would need to be taken for the purchase to actually move forward. This includes, among other things, a special Town Meeting vote (STM).
The term sheet also outlines the basics of the Sales Partnership Model. This model is DCAMM’s proposed methodology for sharing in the potential revenue that the town might gain by selling the MSH land to a developer, should that occur.
A handout that has been prepared by our consultants Howard Stein Hudson for the January 11 public visioning forum has been uploaded here. The final report that resulted from the visioning forum can be downloaded here.
A flyer has been developed by the committee for distribution to each household in town in advance of the March 10, 2014 Special Town Meeting. The flyer presents an overview of the town’s option to purchase 134 acres of the State Hospital Property from the commonwealth.
A Powerpoint presentation has been prepared by members of the SHAC in advance of the March 10, 2014 Special Town Meeting. These slides will be shown at the town meeting, but you can preview the presentation here.
A copy of the Warrant Articles for the March 10, 2014 Special Town Meeting is available for review here.
MSHMPC Medfield.TV Shows
The members of the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee have been putting together informational TV shows with the assistance of Medfield TV.
Click on the links below for each of the various episodes:
- Driving Tour Describing the Preferred Master Plan, August 2018
- Overview of the May 24, 2017 Public Meeting
- Interview with Kevin Ryder, Director of Medfield Parks and Recreation Department, May 2016
- Interview with Steve Nolan, Chairman of MSHMPC, April 2016
- Interview with John Thompson, Chairman of MSH Bldgs and Grounds, March 2016
- Agricultural Uses of the Property, Open Space, and Passive Recreation, December 2015
- The Legacy of Trees, June 2015 (with Monique Allen of The Garden Continuum)
- Smart Growth, May 2015 (with André Leroux of Mass Smart Growth Alliance)
- Safety and Security March 2015 (with Chief Bob Meaney)
- Goals and Objectives, February 2015
- Original Introductory Video, February 2015
This page contains information regarding pending or existing legislation / laws with relevance to the redevelopment of the MSH property.
In 2014, after a special Town Meeting vote and a town election, Medfield voted to move forward with the purchase of 134 acres of the former State Hospital Property. These votes caused our local legislative delegation (consisting of Representatives Garlick and Dooley and Senator Timilty) to introduce a piece of legislation, which was subsequently passed by the house and senate and signed by Governor Patrick. The final legislation can be viewed here.
In 2008, the Massachusetts Legislature passed an act relating to Medfield State Hospital. The full text of the act can be found here. The act provides details regarding how the state (the current owner of the hospital property) may choose to sell or otherwise dispose of the various parcels.
The 2008 legislation built off of previous legislation enacted in 2002, which can be found here.
In 2001, during the Swift administration, and previously during the King administration (1981), Massachusetts developed policies relating to the preservation and maintenance of agricultural land. These policies specifically discuss the agricultural use of state land holdings that are not needed for other purposes. You can read the text of these policies here.