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The Park (Free Hospital for Women)

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Free Hospital for Women
1893–1895, Olmsted, Olmsted and Eliot, landscape plan; 1894–1895 main building, 1896, Shaw and Hunnewell; 1908 nurses home, Coolidge and Carlson; 1911 operating theater, Coolidge and Carlson; 1921–1922 Parkway Hospital, Coolidge and Shattuck; 1929 Hyams House, Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbott; 1984, CBT/Childs Bertman and Tseckares. 60 Glen Rd.
  • (Photo by E.M. Ober)

Pill Hill's development preceded that of the Boston Park System. Construction of Frederick Law Olmsted's design for the nearby Riverway and Olmsted Park, begun in the 1880s, made the eastern slope of Pill Hill an attractive site for development. Planned to overlook the park and provide a healthier environment for recuperation, the Free Hospital for Women provided Boston with its first center for gynecological treatment. Built of yellow brick with limestone trim, the Chateauesque central section was flanked by arcaded porches; Coolidge and Shattuck made several additions in the 1920s. The hospital became renowned for its research in cancer, endocrinology, and fertility, especially the work of Drs. John Rock and Arthur Hertig on the development of the birth control pill. Shaw and Hunnewell designed the first building in 1894–1895 and added a cancer ward in 1896. Additional buildings were added before the hospital closed in 1978. In 1984, Childs, Bertman and Tseckares oversaw the conversion of the buildings to condominiums, called The Park, with sympathetic new construction.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "The Park (Free Hospital for Women)", [Brookline, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 504-504.

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