Cornerstone Ceremony

October 17, 1928

Destined eventually to be a retreat for 2000 of Great Boston’s mentally ill, the State’s partially completed $3,000,000 Metropolitan State Hospital this made its first official bow to the public when Governor Fuller, rising from a sick bed against his doctor’s orders, gave the cornerstone of the administration building a push and laid it in its place.

 

“Through the years to come may this hospital stand a practical sermon in stone, devoted to the uplift and mental health of this community” said the Governor his face flushed from the cold that has held him for more than a week. “Here may the troubled mind shelter and mentally weary rest, benefit and health.”

 

Lieutenant Governor Allen handed him a trowel, took one himself and they both threw mortar into the crack. Watching the ceremony was a distinguished group mental experts members of the General Court from three municipalities in which the hospital is located, the Governor’s Council and State employees.

Dr. George M. Kline head of the State Department of Mental Diseases under whose jurisdiction the hospital comes, stated that the “chief object of the hospital is the humane care and treatment of the mentally ill and in addition the preservation of the mental health community.”

Unequalled in its Service

 

It is the purpose of his department, the commissioner said to have a hospital complete in all its details “and unequalled in its service, where instruction and advice can be given in prevention of mental disease, mental hygiene and for the after-care of those who have been dismissed.”

 

Through its out-patient department, said Dr. Kline, borderline patients will receive treatment and more serious cases brought to notice. “Mental breakdowns will be aided by intelligent advice given as to the habits and living conditions of the patients, and practical information as to the cause of mental diseases will be disseminated.”

The ceremony took place at 3 o’clock and overlooks  six cities and towns. The estate includes 300 acres off of Trapelo Road. The Administration Building looks not unlike one of the newer type of New England town halls. It is backed by the nurses home, now almost completed.

Will Have 50 Buildings

 

Crowning a hill is the building where the patients will be quartered. This is now one-third finished, Gordon Robb, Boston architect who the designer for the entire hospital group said today. When finished, probably before a year is over, it will house nearly 2000 patients, all segregated. Something like 50 buildings will dot the property when all is finished.  All through his four years as the chief executive, Dr. Kline pointed out, the Governor has taken a dominating interest in the State’s mentally diseased and during his administration approximately $6,449,000 has been appropriated for special purposes, new construction and improvements for this class of patients.

Urges Tablet to Dorothea Dix

 

Opening his speech, the Governor pointed to the great improvements that have been made in the past few years in the field of mental treatment. He praised Dorothea Lynde Dix for awakening the public in 1843 to the need of practical reform in public provision for the insane and suggested to Dr. Kline that “somewhere in this group of buildings there should be erected a tablet in her memory.” The Governor praised Dr. Kline for his work. To him and his associate, Dr. Theodore Hock, “we are indebted for the establishment of social service, the opening of school clinics, the mental hygiene division and the division for the psychiatric examination of among others” he said.

Boston Globe 1928