Traverse City State Hospital
The Traverse City State Hospital of Traverse City, Michigan has been variously known as the Northern Michigan Asylum and the Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital. It has for many years been called the "11th Street Academy". It is the last Kirkbride Building of Michigan's original four left in the state.

History
Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane was established in 1885 as the demand for a third psychiatric hospital, in addition to those established in Kalamazoo and Pontiac, Michigan, began to grow. Lumber baron Perry Hannah, “the father of Traverse City,” used his political influence to secure its location in his home town. Under the supervision of prominent architect Gordon W. Lloyd, the first building, known as Building 50, was constructed in Victorian- Italianate style according to the Kirkbride Plan. In 1963, the main 1885 center wing was destroyed because it was deemed a fire hazard and a new modern building was put up in its place. Under Dr. James Decker Munson, the first superintendent from 1885 to 1924, the institution expanded. Twelve housing cottages and two infirmaries were built between 1887 and 1903 to meet the specific needs of male and female patients. All of the cottages except the northernmost are still standing. The institution became the city’s largest employer and contributed to its growth. In the 1930s three large college-like buildings were constructed near the present site of the Munson Hospital parking deck and the Grand Traverse Pavilions. These buildings were demolished in 1995 because they were deemed incompatible with reuse." Long before the advent of drug therapy in the 1950s, Munson was a firm believer in the “beauty is therapy” philosophy. Patients were treated through kindness, comfort, pleasure, and beautiful flowers provided year-round by the asylum's own greenhouses and the variety of trees Munson planted on the grounds. Restraints, such as the straitjacket, were forbidden. Also, as part of the “work is therapy” philosophy, the asylum provided opportunities for patients to gain a sense of purpose through farming, furniture construction, fruit canning, and other trades that kept the institution fully self-sufficient. The asylum farm began in 1885 with the purchase of some milk cows and within a decade grew to include pigs, chickens, milk and meat cows, and many vegetable fields. In the 1910s-30s, the farm was home to a world champion milk cow, Traverse Colantha Walker. Her grave is at the end of the dirt trail between the farm and the asylum. The farm closed in the late 1950s, and most of the farm buildings were destroyed by the state in the mid 1970s. Two large barns (constructed in 1901 and 1932) still stand on the south side of the hospital complex. There are plans to renovate these historic structures, though nothing has been done yet. The asylum also produced its own electricity and heat. In 1893, a shop building was built directly behind the center of building 50 (This was demolished in 1949 after being replaced by a larger power plant on the south side of the asylum grounds). The shop building generated steam to heat the asylum, and many of the steam tunnels that ran between the main building and shop still exist. However, the newer power plant, which is still standing, is to be renovated and turned into office space. While the hospital was established for the care of the mentally ill, its use expanded during outbreaks of tuberculosis, epilepsy, typhoid, diphtheria, influenza, and polio. It also cared for the elderly, served as a rehab for drug addicts, and was used to train nurses. During the mid-late 1980's, the institution saw a heavy influx of drug users who sought relief from their addictions. After Munson’s retirement, James Decker Munson Hospital was established in his honor on the grounds in 1926, and was operated by the state well after his death and into the 1950s. It was then replaced by Munson Medical Center in the 1950's, the largest hospital in northern Michigan and one of the largest in the state. A portrait of Dr. Munson hangs inside the main lobby of Munson Medical Center. With the increasing success of drug therapies in the 1970s, many mental patients improved sufficiently that by the latter half of the decade the Kirkbride and the other Victorian buildings were vacant. This, in addition to changes in mental health care philosophy, the decline of institutionalization, and cuts in funding, forced the closure of the Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital in 1989, with a loss of over 200 jobs to the local economy.

Future
Starting in 2000, The Minervini Group began negotiating with the Grand Traverse Commons Redevelopment Corporation and secured an agreement to renovate the historic buildings, which were in need of a major renovation. Their efforts have led to the gradual but successful preservation and re-use of the former Building 50 as part of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a residential and commercial development. By 2005, the southernmost wing and Hall 20 (Phase One) were fully completed and in use. The 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m 2) Mercato Phase of Building 50 was finished by fall 2008. Other buildings on the site are being renovated for new uses including an urban winery, a fair trade coffee roaster, and a brick oven bakery that opened in fall 2007. In fall 2008 the Minervini group began renovation of some of the cottages, three of which will become a hotel. Currently, apartments on the upper floors of building 50 are for sale. Munson Medical Center is currently renovating a 1893 cottage close to its parking deck into a second hospitality house. The north wing of Building 50 is to be renovated in 2009. As of June 2009, progress has taken place in the cottages slated to become a hotel. New windows are being installed in those buildings, and it is most likely that the cottages shall be completely renovated by 2010.

Building Activity

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