Sunday, March 13, 2016

Traverse City State Hospital

aka Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane, Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital, Grand Traverse Commons, The Village

  • Click here for a detailed map linking to many building pages and images. Northern Michigan Asylum first opened on the western edge of Traverse City, Michigan in November, 1885, under the direction of superindentent Dr. James Decker Munson. The State government opened this hospital due to overcrowding at the Pontiac and Kalamazoo hospitals. Later, the name was changed to Traverse City State Hospital (and also Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital).
    The buildings of this site
    are easily seen up-close from
    nearby public streets and roads
    and public spaces, and from the
    parkland located on the grounds.
    Please see
    for maps and information
    on building tours.
    This mental institution was part of Michigan's mental health department, which had other institutions at places including Kalamazoo, Pontiac, Newberry, and Northville. The hospital closed in 1989, and during the 1990s grounds and buildings came under the control of local governments.
    Like many mental institutions from the era, it started with a single Kirkbride building (and a few related service buildings). The north wing was for female clients, and the south wing was for male clients. The grand center wing, unfortunately replaced in the 1960s, housed administration. This Kirkbride still stands and has been known for many years as Building 50. Now known as "The Village", it has recently been saved from threatened demolition (thanks to the Committee to Preserve Building 50 and other concerned citizens), and is undergoing restoration and renovation. When the Kirkbride plan fell out of favor at the end of the 19th century, several "cottages" were constructed at the state hospital according to the philosophy of the time. The operation included extensive farm operations which were closed in the 1950s. The grave of a world champion milk cow remains on the grounds. The institution (at the end called a regional psychiatric hospital) closed in 1989 as part of a nationwide trend in de-institutionalization of the mentally ill which had causes including changes in the overall philosophy of treatment, advances in medicine, and government budget concerns.

  • Link here:

    Wikipedia Entry For Traverse City State Hospital

    Video Tour Here:

    Forgotten Children Hall18, Hall7 - Where Buffalo Roam - Traverse City State Hospital

    Photographer Heidi Johnson snapped these haunting images

    Another site with several photos

    More Interesting Links Regarding The Traverse City State Hospital

    Death Of Retarded Patient 1971

    The Lawsuit against the TCSH

    Interesting Comment Section

    More Random Links:

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