IMAGE GALLERY: Honoring Framingham's History, Celebrating a Framingham Jewel [VIDEO]
This past weekend, Framingham Parks & Recreation unveiled historic markers to celebrate the history of Cushing Memorial Park and to celebrate the jewel the area has become to the neighborhood.
The area where the park stands today, was in the 1940s Cushing General Hospital, a military hospital with more than 1,800 beds. The hospital was named after Dr. Harvey Cushing, a neurosurgeon. After as a Veterans Hospital for a couple of wars, the state took over the hospital and the its capacity was cut by two-thirds.
Just before Governor William Weld called for its closure in the 90s, it was a geriatric facility with an Alzheimer's center.
After the closure Framingham Selectmen Chair John Stefanini, who was also the town's state representative, met with Weld about the Town of Framingham taking over the site. The Governor told Stefanini if the town could come up with a "unified" plan, he would allow it.
As the Framingham Patch video (attached to this report) shows, Framingham did not have a unified plan, until the neighborhood came to the decision it wanted the site to be used for passive recreation. Stefanini said it was the efforts of Debbie Tosti that the neighborhood was able to get the community to support its plan.
Stefanini recalled the process to turn the Cushing site into the recreational jewel it is today in the attached video.
During the ceremony, the Parks & Recreation department unveiled five historical markers, that tell the history of the site.
After the historic speeches, including a historic overview of the site by Selectman Gonger Esty, and the unveiling of the historic plaques, everyone was invited to enjoy free hot dogs, snacks and drinks, thanks to Framingham Co-operative Bank.