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For the place in Cheshire, see Chestnut Lodge, Widnes.

Chestnut Lodge (formerly known as Woodlawn Hotel) was a historic building in Rockville, Maryland, United States, well known as a psychiatric institution. It was a contributing property to the West Montgomery Avenue Historic District.[1]

Chestnut Lodge Postcard dated 1909
Hand coloured photographic postcard of Chestnut Lodge Sanitorium postmarked 1909


In 1886, Charles G. Wilson commissioned an architect to build a four-story brick "summer boarding house" on 5 acres (2.0 ha) of land he had purchased in the west of Rockville. During the construction of the building, Wilson filed for bankruptcy, and the unfinished building was bought for $6000 by Mary J. Colley (the owner of the Clarendon Hotel in Washington DC) and her partner Charles W. Bell. Under their ownership, the building was opened as the Woodlawn Hotel in the spring of 1889. The hotel boasted electric bells, gas lighting and 40 luxurious guest rooms and was extremely successful, catering to rich visitors from Washington DC who often boarded in the hotel during the summer months.

After a decade or so of prosperity, however, the fortunes of the Woodlawn Hotel declined as many of its semi-permanent residents moved into new houses in Rockville. In 1906 the hotel's owners were heavily in debt and were forced to sell the building and grounds at public auction. The hotel was purchased by Dr. Ernest L. Bullard, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a surgeon and professor of psychiatry and neurology. Bullard renovated the building and re-opened it in 1910 as a sanatorium for the care of nervous and mental diseases, renaming it Chestnut Lodge after the 125 chestnut trees that grew in the grounds.

For many years, Bullard was the sole physician working at the Lodge, but over the next 75 years a total of three generations of the Bullard family operated the private hospital. Many nationally renowned therapists, including Clarence Edward Bunge, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann,[2][3] Wayne Fenton,[4] Thomas McGlashan,[5] Harold Searles,[6] and Otto Allen Will, Jr., worked at the hospital over the years. The hospital was the site for a series of influential studies on the long-term treatment outcome for psychiatric conditions, known as the Chestnut Lodge studies.[5][7][8][9]

In the 1950s and 1960s, innovative dance therapist Marian Chace had regularly scheduled sessions with groups of patients. Judith Richardson Bunney followed her in this work. In the 1960s and 1970s, Donn B. Murphy conducted a drama group for patients.

In 1997 the lodge was purchased by CPC Health, and passed hands again to the Washington Waldorf School in 2001 when CPC Health declared bankruptcy. In December 2003, the property was conveyed to Chestnut Lodge Properties, Inc.

In 2008 the property was approved for conversion to condominiums (inside the main building) and upscale housing.[10] The grove of chestnut trees and some original building façades were to be preserved. But at around 3:00 a.m. on June 7, 2009, the building was destroyed by a fire. Montgomery County Fire Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer says the unoccupied, multi-story brick structure collapsed in the Sunday morning blaze. He said the building was unoccupied and no one was injured. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.[11]


  1. ^ "West Montgomery Avenue Historic District". Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  2. ^ Frieda Fromm-Reichmann; Gail A. Hornstein (2000). To redeem one person is to redeem the world: the life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-82792-1. 
  3. ^ Mcglashan, Thomas H. and Fenton, Wayne S. (1998) Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, 1889–1957, Journal of Psychiatry, 155, p123 [1]
  4. ^ McGlashan TH, Carpenter WT (September 2007). "Identifying unmet therapeutic domains in schizophrenia patients: the early contributions of Wayne Fenton from Chestnut Lodge". Schizophr Bull 33 (5): 1086–92. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbm082. PMC 2632345. PMID 17634414. 
  5. ^ a b Mcglashan, T. H. (1984). "The Chestnut Lodge follow-up study. I. Follow-up methodology and study sample". Archives of General Psychiatry 41 (6): 573–585. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790170047006. PMID 6428370. 
  6. ^ Robert M Young. 'Harold Searles', The Human Nature Review (2005). Retrieved 07 July 2010.
  7. ^ Mcglashan, T. H. (1984). "The Chestnut Lodge follow-up study. II. Long-term outcome of schizophrenia and the affective disorders". Archives of General Psychiatry 41 (6): 586–601. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790170060007. PMID 6732419. 
  8. ^ Mcglashan, TH (1986). "The Chestnut Lodge follow-up study. III. Long-term outcome of borderline personalities". Archives of General Psychiatry 43 (1): 20–30. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800010022003. PMID 3942471. 
  9. ^ Mcglashan, T. H. (1986). "The prediction of outcome in chronic schizophrenia. IV. The Chestnut Lodge follow-up study". Archives of General Psychiatry 43 (2): 167–176. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800020077010. PMID 3947211. 
  10. ^ "Fox news item about purchase of Chestnut Lodge for Condominiums". Retrieved 2009-05-10. [dead link]
  11. ^ Allison Klein (7 June 2009). "Historic Rockville Building Destroyed by Fire". washingtonpost.com. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°5′5.3″N 77°9′45.5″W / 39.084806°N 77.162639°W / 39.084806; -77.162639

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chestnut_Lodge — Please support Wikipedia.
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121 news items

Belfast Newsletter

Belfast Newsletter
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 07:37:29 -0800

Patrick Stewart (28), Chestnut Lodge, Drumbo, Lisburn, appeared today (Friday) at a preliminary enquiry at Craigavon courthouse. The first charge against him alleges that on December 3, 2014, he was in possession of an indecent photograph of a child.
Washington Post
Wed, 16 Jun 2010 23:47:07 -0700

Whether serving as a luxury hotel attracting the Washington elite in the 19th century, a haven for the mentally ill in the mid-20th century or a gathering spot for teenagers and ghost hunters in the 21st century, Chestnut Lodge had an aura that lured many.

Business Gazette

Business Gazette
Tue, 09 Jun 2009 06:52:00 -0700

Calling the fire that destroyed historic Chestnut Lodge in Rockville tragic and devastating, Montgomery County and Rockville officials Monday afternoon urged the public to come forward with information that might help them learn how the Sunday-morning ...

The Island Connection

The Island Connection
Wed, 09 Dec 2015 12:15:00 -0800

My cozy room came with earplugs. Floors creaked beneath me. Footsteps pattered above. I didn't mind. I had lots more rooms. Steps away was the massive living room/lobby lined with books, games and a blazing fireplace. Sunny porches adorned with ...
Washington Post
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:33:15 -0700

He settled in the Washington area in the early 1970s and spent several years as a psychoanalyst and internist at the old Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, Md. He was the past chairman of the family practice department at Suburban Hospital in ...


Thu, 24 Dec 2015 03:45:07 -0800

Conservative Councillor Joy Morrisey, Shadow Portfolio holder for health and adult social services, recently paid a visit to the Chestnut Lodge, Woodfield Road, with her daughter to drop off gifts and cookies. The Hanger ward representative was spurred ...

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Echo
Mon, 29 Jun 2015 06:30:00 -0700

Police say the 20-year-old local man, was walking along Liverpool Road when a vehicle mounted the pavement and was deliberately driven in into him before the motorist sped off in the direction of Chestnut Lodge. The man sustained injuries to his back, ...

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Echo
Wed, 16 Dec 2015 02:55:23 -0800

Tickets are on sale from the Ditton Deli on Hale Road, the Co-operative store at Chestnut Lodge, First Impresions Hair Salon on Liverpool Road, My Local at Upton Rocks, Cutting Edge Hair Salon at Upton Shops, and the Co-operative store on Elephant Lane ...

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