Buildings of Fernald State School

The Fernald campus sprawls across 196 acres off Trapelo Road in Waltham, MA. Its oldest structures were built between 1890 and 1910, resting on fieldstone foundations crafted, remarkably, by the patients themselves, and adorned with the intricate details of Queen Anne style architecture. Subsequent expansions in the 1920s and 1930s introduced Colonial Revival buildings, emblematic of state institutions of that era. The landscape evolved further with modern edifices from the 1960s through the 1980s. A majority of the school’s buildings underwent significant interior renovations, including environmental remediation, from the 1980s-2014, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. At the time the Fernald Center was officially shuttered in 2015, its buildings were among the most disability-accessible buildings in the Commonwealth. A smaller handful of its buildings had stood empty for years beforehand.