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Metropolitan State Hospital |+|
|Title= State Hospital
It became apparent that while the mental health system as a whole was overcrowded, the most urgent need was in the metropolitan area. Intense debate over possible solutions occurred in 1908-1926. The Trustees of the newly acquired Boston State Hospital advocated for expansion of their facility to a 5, 000 patient capacity, but were unable to convince the State Board of Insanity of the merits of that proposal. The need for a second metropolitan area hospital was identified as early as 1908. |+|
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|−|Introduced to the state legislature in 1912, the board authorized spending in January of 1915. A site that was in close proximity to the Walter E. Fernald State School was immediately acquired. Plans were prepared for a 1, 900 patient facility to be built on the cottage/colony plan. No action was taken for several years due to the Trustees of Boston State Hospital continue to argue for their own expansion and the first World War diverted state attention and funds. |+|
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|−|Finally, in 1927, the State legislature responded by appropriating $1 ,500,000 for preparation of the Waltham site. The ground breaking ceremony took place on December 27, 1927 at the Administration Building. Cornerstone laying ceremonies were held on October 17, 1928. Construction costs were kept down by the use of the plain red brick buildings of early American colonial type. Trim elements, including pedimented pavilions and quoins, were deleted from the ward buildings. [[ Metropolitan State Hospital|Click here for more...]] |+|
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Featured Article Of The Week
Pilgrim State Hospital
At the time it was opened, it was the largest hospital of any type in the world. Its size has never been exceeded by any other facility, although today Pilgrim is far smaller than it used to be.
By 1900, overcrowding in city asylums was becoming a major problem that many tried to resolve. One answer was to put the mentally ill to work farming in a relaxing setting on what was then rural Long Island. The new state hospitals were dubbed "Farm Colonies" because of their live-and-work treatment programs, agricultural focus and patient facilities. However, these farm colonies, the Kings Park State Hospital (later known as the Kings Park Psychiatric Center) and the Central Islip State Hospital (later known as the Central Islip Psychiatric Center), quickly became overcrowded, just like the earlier institutions they were supposed to replace.
NY state responded by making plans for a third so-called farm colony, what was to become the Pilgrim State Hospital, named in honor of the former New York State Commissioner of Mental Health, Dr. Charles W. Pilgrim. The state bought up approx. 1,000 acres (4.0 km²) of land in Brentwood and began construction in 1930. The hospital opened on October 1, 1931 as a close knit community with its own police and fire department, courts, post office, a LIRR station, power plant, potter's field, swinery, cemetery, water tower and houses for doctors, psychiatrists, and asylum administrators. A series of underground tunnels were used for routing steam pipes and other vital utilities. Click here for more...