A History of Fox Hill Village at Westwood
In the 1980s, a resident of Westwood called upon Dr. Alexander Fisher with the information that the Massachusetts General Hospital was interested in the vacant land on Routes 109 and 128 to build a retirement home for their physicians and for others. He wanted to know whether Dr. Fisher could be of any help in having the land re-zoned so that such a building could be built.
Dr. Fisher, who was then retired, had practiced in Westwood for forty-five years and wanted to stay in the town rather than move to New Hampshire, Cape Cod, or Florida. He wrote a letter to the town supporting the proposal as a good project for Westwood and for himself and others like him who wanted to stay in the town after retirement. The letter with his signature was printed and mailed by the Massachusetts General Hospital.
In due course, a committee of Westwood residents was formed. After many meetings between the town’s people and the Massachusetts General Hospital, a special town meeting was held to vote on a proposal to change the zoning laws to permit the facility to be built under the auspices of the MGH and Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, renowned New England land developers. Other groups had approached the town before hoping to use the land, and had been turned down. At this meeting, Dr. Fisher made the motion and with the support of the committee, it was passed without a single dissenting vote.
It was 1990 before the facility was ready for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the first building—Ames—was ready for occupancy. As a result of considerable research by Mrs. Yetta Fisher, two of the buildings were named for prominent Dedham residents (Ames and Dana) and two for prominent Westwood residents (Baker and Ellis). Clark House was named for Ms. Eleanor Clark, a director of social services at MGH who had the innovative vision that older people needed an alternative to returning to their homes after hospitalization. She actively persuaded the Board of Directors of Massachusetts General Hospital to establish a retirement community. Although she did not live to see the completion of Fox Hill Village, she did see the project inaugurated.