In mid-January 2021, the Secretary of the Interior approved the designation of 21 National Historic Landmarks – the highest level of significance for historic properties in the nation – including two locations in Maryland: Tolson’s Chapel and School in Sharpsburg and the Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Cottage in Rockville. The historic property research contained in those nominations is now available to the public.

Peerless Rockville, a private non-profit, currently interprets, maintains, and owns the Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Cottage. The organization began a restoration of the property in 2009 and also conducted oral history interviews with those that new Dr. Fromm-Reichmann (1889–1957). From a statement on their website, the organization is honored to steward the property and looks forward to future programming about Dr. Fromm-Reichmann, stating, ” It is our and the City of Rockville’s privilege to be associated with Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, a trail-blazing woman in the field of medicine when there were very few women, who transformed Chestnut Lodge into a renowned mental health institution, and ultimately changed how psychiatrists treat severe mental illness.”


The cottage is associated with Dr. Frieda Fromm-Reichmann (1889-1957), a leading figure in American psychiatry renowned for her pioneering contributions to the treatment of schizophrenia, a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others.

She served as director of psychotherapy at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, Maryland, the premier center for the psychoanalytically-oriented treatment of schizophrenia. She lived and worked on the grounds of the institution in this cottage. The Lodge built for her where she could treat the majority of patients sent over from the nearby main hospital building. The Lodge itself was destroyed by fire in June 2009.

Between 1936 and 1956, Fromm-Reichmann crafted her technique for treating schizophrenics and set the standard for treating people suffering severe mental disorder. This profound reworking of basic psychoanalytic ideas radically transformed what it meant to be a patient and redefined the posture of the therapist. Fromm-Reichmann laid out this paradigmatic shift of American psychiatry in her seminal work, Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy (1950), which became reading for psychiatrists in training during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.