Reform School: Back in the mid 1800s, child reform schools came of age in conjunction with the industrial revolution and associated, more-dense population centers. Governments, charities and religious organizations formed rudimentary welfare safety nets for children who were homeless and had committed or were likely to commit crimes. Reform and industrial training schools were part of that net. The building below is one of a number of similar structures of a reform school built in 1856 in Lancaster, MA. It was the country's first reform school for girls, moving away from imprisonment to a corrections/reform paradigm. Some scholars think this worked better than today's welfare and justice systems for children. The building above was one of several "residential cottages" that had common spaces on the ground floor, and sleeping rooms for both students and staff on upper floors. First floor common spaces included a dining room, kitchen, sewing room, laundry, parlor, and classroom. I got an aerial picture of the building pictured above several days ago. Many of the reform schools of that era were eventually turned into prisons. What you see above is a mold infested, asbestos filled structure that also became a medium security prison that will be soon eaten by weather and foliage if nothing is done. That it is on the nationsl register of historic places won't alone stop the decay.