write to you today with a great sadness about the loss
of the Kirkbride Building on the grounds of Danvers State
every effort to preserve this national historic treasure,
despite its unique place in the history of the area and
in the humane treatment of the mentally ill (Dr. Kirkbride's
approach of fresh air, good food, gainful occupation,
etc., and a limit of 500 patients maximum in the facility,
was later distorted by overcrowding in the 20th century,
which led to abuse of patients. But that does not negate
the benefits of Kirkbride's original vision.), despite
the existence of countless and much older buildings in
other parts of the world, the Kirkbride has fallen, a
victim of shortsightedness and greed. As I write this
letter, the backhoes and bulldozers and wrecking balls
are gnawing away at one of the most remarkable architectural
treasures of the modern era.
want future generations to know that there were people
who fought bravely to preserve the Kirkbride, including
Richard Trask, Danvers town archivist; the Danvers Preservation
Commission; Kathy Morano; Wayne Eisenhauer; Charles Wilson;
Pat Deegan (a former resident of Danvers State), along
with John Gray (urban explorer-historian).
I also want them to know there were those who caved in
to the pressure of vision-challenged members of our community,
including Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis, Massachusetts
Secretary of State Bill Galvin, Department of Capital
Management members David Perrini and Mary Beth Clancy
and the members of the Citizens' Advisory Commission,
headed up by Robert Pariseau.
have no illusions that AvalonBay's creations will stand
the test of time as did the Kirkbride.
100 or 500 years, when future historians shake their heads
over this tragic mistake, let it be remembered that there
were those who had a vision of preservation and reuse
of the Danvers State Hospital properties that did not
require demolition and cookie-cutter concrete construction.
remember, and so will they!