Last year, I really enjoyed visiting the deserted buildings of Pripyat, Ukraine in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. So, when I heard about the Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour with a professional photographer at the deserted buildings of the Traverse City State (Mental) Hospital, I had to go. These tours only run a couple times per year, so it was lucky that it would occur during my visit to Michigan in the Springtime.
The Traverse City State Hospital was first built in the 1880’s and was totally deserted by the 1980’s. The Traverse City State Hospital has been re-purposed as “The Village at Grand Traverse Commons”. Many of the buildings have been renovated and converted into apartments, shops, and restaurants. There was a farmers market on the Saturday we visited.
There were 17 tourists, a guide, and his brother, “the caboose” for the tour group. The tour consisted of visiting 4 deserted buildings and an old steam tunnel.
The attics were dusty and deserted:
It’s common for youngsters to break into the buildings. We found evidence of this by graffiti, empty beer cans, and condom wrappers.
2 of the buildings we visited were abated for lead paint and asbestos.
Other buildings were filled with dangerous materials like crumbling 30% lead paint.
I’d love to see these buildings on a foggy day.
All of the building complexes were heated by steam, and there is a huge network of steam pipes below.
An exclusive visit of the “Extended” tour is the children’s ward, which was also used as a tuberculosis hospital. It was filled with colorful paint.
Overall, the “tour” wasn’t much of a tour. It was more like a guy letting us into locked buildings and letting us run around and take pictures for 45-60 minutes. There was virtually no narration. If you’re interested in this place, I’d recommend a 2 hour history tour along with the 2 hour (not extended) photo tour rather than the Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour.