1900 Stable thumbnail

An article published last week by The Republican details the Citizens Advisory Committee new subcommittee; the Amenity Subcommittee’s meeting in January regarding elements public reuse of the former State Hospital campus. Among other topics such as park space and playing fields the Amenity Subcommittee also discussed the reuse of the 1900 Stable.

Constructed between 1900 and 1901 this stable was built to replace a smaller wooden building. The older structure being rather close to the kitchen made it ideal for use as a cold storage unit, and thus too was at a somewhat unfortunate proximity for keeping horses.

Google Maps photo of 1900 Stable
The 1900 Stable was built into the hillside for the most part by regular employees with assistance by patients in framing, making mortar, and supplying the few hired masonry workers with materials. When the building was completed in 1901 Driving horses would be kept on the main floor and a hayloft (accessible from the door facing the State Hospital) was kept above. Upon completion in 1901 the building was valued at $6,000. For the sake of comparison the same year the State Hospital’s 550 acres of land were valued at $53,400 and Old Main was valued at $480,000.

Village Hill amenities considered

From The Republican
by Fred Contrada
Thursday, January 29, 2009

Will the Village Hill project include a community meeting room? Public parks? A playing field?

The biggest development in the city’s recent history has been taking shape slowly over the last decade and is still far from complete, but as the pieces begin falling into place, a subcommittee is imagining the final product.

The Village Hill Citizens Advisory Committee created an Amenity Subcommittee last year to explore just such topics. In a meeting earlier this month, members tossed out some ideas and suggestions for the mixed residential-commercial development, which is located on the grounds of the former Northampton State Hospital.

Narkewicz stressed on Tuesday that the subcommittee is at the beginning stage of its discussions.

“People were throwing out ideas,” he said. “They’re not really proposals.”

However, the topic has already caught the eye of Joseph Blumenthal, a member of the larger Citizens Advisory Committee. Blumenthal sent an e-mail to fellow committee members warning that it would be prohibitively expensive to convert the Coach House to meeting space and suggesting that the amenities subcommittee incorporate representatives from the Village Hill developers.

According to Anderson, MassDevelopment has targeted the Coach House for commercial use, along with a second building once used as a dormitory for male attendants at the hospital. The third surviving building from the state hospital complex is envisioned as live-work space for artists, Anderson said.

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