Since the late 1980s, Raymond Hospital on the campus of the Wrentham Developmental Center sat empty awaiting its fate. After a bidding process was conducted in the spring, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts finally closed the chapter on the 33,600 square foot hospital that was once a prominent fixture at the state run facility.
“It was a 100 bed, modern hospital,” says Ingrid Grenon author of From One Century to the Next: A History of Wrentham State School and the Institutional Model in Massachusetts. “I write extensively about it in my book.”
Built for $900,000, the hospital which included an operating room, was dedicated in 1957 and named after Dr. C. Stanley Raymond, who served as the superintendent of Wrentham State School from 1932 until 1955. According to Grenon, attendees at the ceremony included Raymond and his family, members of the Department of Mental Health, representatives of then Governor Foster Furcolo, and then Superintendent Dr. Karl V. Quinn.
At the ceremony Raymond, along with Dr. Thomas Pugh of the Department of Mental Health, reportedly argued for more research money, more buildings and more help to care for the State’s children with severe developmental disabilities.
Time was not kind to the three-story brick hospital. By the 1980s it fell into disrepair and according to state officials it was determined renovation would be too costly. It was replaced by the May Center in April of 1988, which is a small acute care facility, with the potential for 30 beds, and is now staffed as a 12-bed infirmary for the purpose of treating acute medical illness, diagnostic evaluation, reassessment of chronic illness, and close medical or nursing observation.
Actual deconstruction of the Raymond Hospital began on September 29th. The building was down as of October 1st. The enormous amount of debris generated was trucked away.
The area will be filled in and landscaped. The plans call for new plantings and reseeding. Also, lighting and parking will be added.
To learn more about Raymond Hospital and the history of Wrentham Developmental Center, check out Grenon's book which is available on Amazon.