Apr 24

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour (Sanity Check)

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.

Artisan cheese at the farmers market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Renovated building 50.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The attics were dusty and deserted:

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour

In one building, patients had penciled in their names and dates, most in the 1920s and 1930s.

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s common for youngsters to break into the buildings.  We found evidence of this by graffiti, empty beer cans, and condom wrappers.

Creepy bathroom in basement

“DINNER TIME KIDS” in the kitchen

“Don’t go upstairs”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 of the buildings we visited were abated for lead paint and asbestos.

Hall of an abated building.

Exploring a basement by flashlight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other buildings were filled with dangerous materials like crumbling 30% lead paint.

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour

Oil spill

This chair is on it’s last leg!

Mural in lead paint

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to see these buildings on a foggy day.

The bare trees in the spring make the buildings look creepier.

Some of the roofs are failing and black plastic is protecting from more water damage.

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour

view of building 50 from an attic.

Mental patients were encouraged to spend time outdoors in screened patios.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Mural painted in one of the children’s rooms.

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Photo Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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