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Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Cottage facts for kids

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Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Cottage
Location 19 Thomas St., Rockville, Maryland
Area less than one acre
Built 1936 (1936)
Architectural style Colonial Revival
NRHP reference No. 100006277
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP January 13, 2021
Designated NHL January 13, 2021

The Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Cottage is a historic house located at 19 Thomas Street in Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland. It was built in 1936 to house the residence and professional office of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, one of the leading psychoanalysts at the Chestnut Lodge psychiatric hospital, on whose grounds it stood. Fromm-Reichmann (1899-1957) was influential in the development of interpersonal psychoanalysis and its use in the treatment of schizophrenia. The cottage was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2021.

Description and history

The Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Cottage stands in a park-like setting on what were formerly the grounds of Chestnut Lodge, which served as a psychiatric hospital until 1999. It stands on the eastern part of those grounds, and is now set among other suburban residential buildings. It is a modest 1-1/2-story wood frame structure, set on a concrete foundation faced in brick, and covered by a dormered gable roof. The interior of the ground floor is arranged in a center-hall plan, with Dr. Fromm-Reichmann's office on the east side, and the dining room and kitchen on the west side. A former garage space was converted into a reception area for the doctor's patients.

Frieda Fromm-Reichmann was a German-born Jew who came to the United States in 1935. Trained in Germany as a psychiatrist by leaders in the field, she was immediately an influential presence at Chestnut Lodge, where she began working in 1936. She became a leading practitioner and educator in the techniques of interpersonal psychoanalysis, and argued that its techniques could be applied to the most significant psychiatric disorders. She remained at Chestnut Lodge in 1955, leaving for a year on sabbatical in Palo Alto, California. She returned to Chestnut Lodge in 1956, but suffered from declining health and died the following year. The cottage where she lived and saw her patients is the most prominent location associated with her productive life.

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