NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Connecticut News

Seaside Sanatorium Turned State Park Seeks Development Partners

Joel Stocker
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Aerial view of the former Seaside Regional Center.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is looking for partners to develop a once abandoned psychiatric hospital in Waterford into a hotel. It would be the first hotel in a state park in Connecticut.

DEEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen said they want to reuse the historic structures at Seaside State Park for lodging, dining, a spa, and other amenities. “The exteriors of the buildings will remain pretty much as they are, and follow the Secretary Interior Standards for historic rehabilitation. We’re obviously open to having the interiors of the buildings redesigned for hospitality use.”

The 36-acre park was originally a medical facility to treat children with tuberculosis in the 1930s. It also served as a home for the elderly, and a psychiatric hospital before it closed in the ‘90s. In 2014, Governor Malloy designated the property as a state park. And in January, state officials released their plans for the project.

Chris Collibee with DEEP said it’s important to keep the property open to the public. “We determined that using the existing structure, having a private developer come in and a public-private partnership, and turn it into a state park lodge concept would be the best action for the State to take.”

The State is now offering tours for prospective hotel developers, including an open house that was held on Monday. DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee says they’re looking for “that neat intersection of a space for potential conference center or small hotel, but continuing always our theme of public access and enhancement of our beautiful shoreline.”

Developers will have until July to submit their plans.