Built in 1885 and closed in 1989. The Traverse City State Hospital was an asylum for the insane. Also known as the Northern Michigan Asylum it is the last Kirkbride Building of Michigan's original four left in the state.
The asylum is made up of many buildings named by numbers. Building 50, the main building, was once a quarter of a mile long and the asylum in its hayday cared for approximately 6,000 patients at one time.
Under the care of James Decker Munson, the first superintendent from 1885 to 1924 the patients were treated through kindness, comfort, pleasure, and beautiful surroundings. Restraints such as straightjackets, were forbidden. Also, as part of the "work is therapy" philosophy, the asylum provided work opportunities for the patients to give them a sense of purpose. The asylum was self sustaining providing its own electricity and heat.
Starting in 2000, The Minervini Group began negotiating with the Grand Traverse Commons Redevelopment Corp. and agreed to renovate the historic building. Now known as The Commons the former building 50 is used for residential and commercial use.
(only partial still stands, most of the building was torn down due to fire hazards)
Like any old asylum from days past the reputation of being "haunted" proceeded quickly after the buildings had been abandoned for a number of years since through one of windows ofered a view of peeling mint green lead paint, rusty fixtures and and eerie look into the what was.
You can feel the energy just by walking ground and almost see the residents. It's like taking a trip back as if you were one of the patients.
While looking through these windows it seemed dark within the rooms and stairwells, but after looking at the photos the rooms seemed to be illuminated that didn't appear when I first looked in.