Drone Views of the Demolished Psychiatric Hospital: Northville, Michigan
For a number of years, the Northville Psychiatric Hospital was a source of thrill-seeking for trespassers and vandals.
Northville State Hospital opened in 1952 and became known as one of the country's best psychiatric facilities.
Aside from the treatments, patients could learn to play an instrument, study home economics or mechanics, work in the hospital, maintain the grounds, and put on their own plays.
In the 1970s, as the state began to cut mental health budgeting, some hospitals closed while others eliminated the extra patient programs, such as the afore-mentioned ones. With the lack of mental & physical treatment, the use of drugs, chemicals, and medicines unfortunately replaced them.
Thanks to over-crowding, when reporters visited they found patients sleeping in the hallways, chain-smoking, watching TV, and getting little or no treatment. Patients began engaging in assault, rape, and theft. Escapes became more frequent, with reports of patients wandering through neighborhoods and hiding in backyards.
After closing was announced, patients were transferred to other facilities until the last patient left on May 16th, 2003.
After the last patient left, it was closed for good. The state attempted to sell the property but prospective buyer-after-buyer kept turning it down, thanks to the chemical waste, asbestos, and other contaminants. It was finally sold in 2006 for 31 million dollars.
After the sale, an 800 million dollar housing development called “Highwood” was announced that would include condos, 1000 houses, offices, parks, restaurants, school, and senior housing. The township rejected it saying it was 'too large'.
In 2012 another announcement was made: an 82 million dollar nature preserve and activity park. That would include a band shell, community center, hiking & biking trails, pool house, snow hill, skate park, skating rink, and a skate park. To actually complete this, more funds are needed.
In 2017 demolition began on the hospital buildings, leaving many “investigators” out in the cold. All buildings except for one lone structure are gone.
The gallery below features drone photos of how the grounds look today. For photos of what the hospital looked like before demolition, take a look here.
Drone Footage: Former Northville Psychiatric Hospital Site
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