From Dave Brigham:
I lived in Boston's West Roxbury section several years ago, and played baseball in the adjacent Hyde Park neighborhood, so I was familiar with the area's Stony Brook Reservation. But on a recent drive through the reservation I took a route I'd neglected in the past, and discovered a sad and abused recreation center.
This was my first view of the defunct Thompson Center, as I drove by:
I couldn't see the graffiti from the road, but because the driveway leading into the center was fenced off, I knew I'd find something of interest.
I found way more than I was expecting.
The center opened in 1977, according to information I've found online, and was the first in New England designed specifically to accommodate handicapped visitors. The facility was shuttered in 2002 and it has since been defaced and vandalized to the point that the state's Department of Recreation and Conservation has considered demolishing the site.
From the DCR's Resource Management Plan for Stony Brook Reservation:
Heavily vandalized both inside and out, the Thompson Center is not sealed to the elements. Removal of the chimney, repair of the roof sheathing, replacing the roof, and replacing wall caps are needed to seal this structure. This building is not in use. There are numerous ancillary structures, including wooden walls and an inoperative spray pool associated with this building. All are in poor condition.
The isolation of the Thompson Center from other Reservation facilities and from the view of neighbors and passers-by has also made it an attractive nuisance. Many of the Thompson Center’s needed repairs were caused by extensive vandalism to the building. This site may no longer be appropriate for a building and recreational facilities.
I was a little leery of going inside the center. On a previous visit the week before, I'd come across two teens frolicking just outside the place, and I could hear them shaking up spray paint cans. I had no idea if people hung out here on a regular basis, or were perhaps even squatting inside.
But I had to push through that door.
Quite the disaster area, I'd say.
The grounds aren't in much better shape.
This place must have been a blast for kids of all abilities during its heyday. There was a spray park...
...and a wading pool.
Now there are just illiterate taggers leaving behind nihilistic messages.
For more on tagging, see our recent week-long series:
Here's the link to the final installment; at the bottom of that post, you can find links to the other five.