Westborough Seeking Bids for Former ‘Insane Hospital’

In order to reinvent 37 acres of the Westborough State Hospital site.

westborough state hospital

Westborough State Hosptial in 2010. / Photo by Tim Pierce on Flickr/Creative Commons

The Westborough Insane Hospital opened its doors in 1886.

The hospital for the mentally ill remained in operation until 2010, adopting the name “Westborough State Hospital” in 1907. The building on Lyman Street in Westborough has been vacant since the hospital shuttered, and now, after six years and countless trespassing violations, it’s seeking a buyer.

The town of Westborough purchased the lakeside hospital complex in 2014 and is requesting proposals for the purchase of 37 acres at the site. The Telegram & Gazette reports the property is available for redevelopment for commercial and limited residential uses. A tour of the property for interested bidders is scheduled for July 11. The town is asking that all inquiries about the property be directed to Town Manager James Malloy.

In the past, Malloy has warned of the dangers of entering the vacant hospital. He told the Metro West Daily News of the buildings’ collapsed floors and ceilings, lead paint, and asbestos contamination. Yet, many adventurers set out to find ways to get in.

“You can see why it is an attractive nuisance. It is a pretty creepy place,” he said in interview with the Telegram & Gazette last year.

The decaying brick structures easily pique curiosity. Masses of shutterbug explorers have posted pictures of empty rooms and hallways after climbing in windows or punching through boarded-up tunnels. The often black-and-white edited photos depict rusted gurneys in dimly lit rooms with eerie, paint-peeled walls. Others show dated patient records, bare bed frames, and crumbling pieces of furniture. Some trespassers aren’t just showing up for photos—there have also been thefts of copper, marble, and other materials from the buildings.

Now, the request for proposals will attempt bring new, thief-free development to the decaying site near Route 9 and I-495.

Bids for the property are due to the Town of Westborough on September 6. More information is available at town.westborough.ma.us.

Photo by davedillonphoto on Flickr/Creative Commons

Westborough State Hosptial photo by davedillonphoto on Flickr/Creative Commons