Although the Long Island Hospital has long been defunct, the buildings and history remain isolated in the Boston Harbor.
Long Island is but a short boat trip away from the mainland of Boston and is the largest island in the Boston Harbor. The island has had numerous functions over its long history, however the most notable function being an almshouse and hospital for the city’s most destitute. After the official Long Island Hospital folded, the Boston Public Health Commission converted the campus to uses for substance abuse, domestic violence victims, troubled youth, and more.
In the 1950s, a bridge was added connecting Moon Island and Long Island so residents and staff could easily get to and from the site. Unfortunately in October of 2014 the bridge was deemed unsafe, forcing an immediate closure to the functions on Long Island.
The campus has sat vacant since the evacuation in the fall of 2014, aside for regular visits and maintenance to the buildings administered by the Boston Public Health Commission.
I had the privilege of visiting Long Island in the spring of 2017 in conjunction with my position at the National Park Service. I completed research on the history of the island and the almshouse and hospital in hopes of placing the site on the National Register of Historic Places. I completed an updated Determination of Eligibility form for submission to the State Historic Preservation Office, which is available upon request.
The site is a beautiful example of intentional institutional architecture and has much to offer the City of Boston in regards to its history and that of the Boston Harbor Islands in general. The majority of the islands served some type of institutional function, but Long Island Hospital is the only institution that remains intact, serving as the perfect setting for interpretive use by the National Park Service.