Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Welcome to Paddedwall Estates

Whoa, they are converting the Danvers State Hospital (one of a groups of spooky haunted Massachusetts state mental asylums from the Dorothea Dix age, including ones in Medfield and Northampton) into condos! Just when I thought the housing bubble was preparing to burst, they will build on any distressed property, even the most haunted place in the state. Apparently, CNN remarks hat this is going on all over the country, in Oregon and Michigan, with a $170 apt complex in the space where the NYC insane asylum was. One thing I really don't understand is the preservationists.
"This is probably the worst preservation catastrophe that's ever happened in the town," said Richard Trask, Danvers' town archivist since the Nixon administration.
Trask -- who calls the "Disneyfication" of the original complex unappealing -- was among four activists and a local preservation group which unsuccessfully sued to stop AvalonBay[ed:the dev company].
I value history, don't get me wrong, but c'mon, we've learned all we can expect to learn about that dark time when those with head issues got the chain and lash. I know you love the example of classic early Industrial aesthetic, but leaving these building for another century of decay doesn't honor the nameless dead. Not every old building should be a museumpiece. No one wants the Birkenau housing project, but Danvers both needs more reasonable housing and should reject such specious NIMBY objections to responsible land use like this. Of course, its been almost 25 years since Reagan cut mental health funding to the point when this institution could no longer operate, but it is never gonig to be renovated for that use again. I think the real reasons have more to do with people's romanticism for the mystery of haunted locales here in New England than Disneyfication argument (or other tacit objections to New Urbanism.) Mr. Trask, tear down that nuthouse!

Español | Deutsche | Français | Italiano | Português| Ch| Jp| Ko




Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

All original material of whatever nature
created by Nicholas Winslow and included in
this weblog and any related pages, including archives,
is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike license
unless otherwise expressly stated (2006)