One Can Only Imagine What Kind of Development Took Place Here
February 3, 2006 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Abandoned Memories is short on text but thick with photos. Even without captions for every picture, contextual clues can give us a disturbing idea of what life might have been like in the Wayne County Child Development Center (before it was abandoned, razed, and turned into a golf course). The rather-less-easy-to-navigate also has photos and information.
posted by Gator (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Also included at Abandoned Memories are photos of the Clinton Valley Center and the Northern Michigan Asylum. More sites on the links page.

Much, much, much, much more abandon-y goodness seen on MeFi in times past.
posted by Gator at 7:13 AM on February 3, 2006

The reports on Northville-Tunnels are pretty hard to read, but when I can they're very interesting
posted by Suparnova at 7:21 AM on February 3, 2006

Thanks for the links Gator.

I grew up in Northville and the tunnels were the subject of many (sub)urban legends.

Oddly enough, there were soccer fields at the Wayne County Training Center. So, while you waited for your game to start, or your brother's game to end, there was plenty of time to explore the abandoned buildings.

The Northville Jaycees also hosted a haunted house at the training center for many years. It was "pee your pants" scary as a little kid.

Now I know how I will spend the next couple of hours.
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 7:33 AM on February 3, 2006

Northville was well known to kids that lived 50 miles away... My son used to hang out there with his posse back in the late 80's.

The next place to see the wrecking ball in the Southeast Michigan area will be Ypsi State Hospital... This place also needs to be documented before it comes down! Any takers that want to sneak in with me?
posted by HuronBob at 7:37 AM on February 3, 2006

HuronBob - the Northville Regional Psychiatric hospital and its associated buildings are still standing and still creepy. That would be a good place for a photo expedition. If only I could get over my fear of that place and the "Walk Aways" that my mom told me not to talk to...
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 7:43 AM on February 3, 2006

HuronBob, I am always up for a good scare. E-mail if you're serious....
posted by blackkar at 7:56 AM on February 3, 2006

I was just thinking the other day about how abandoned buildings (or even big buildings still under construction!) give me the willies!

I'm a longtime suburban Detroiter. But a brief skim of these sites didn't answer some questions I'm confused about.

The Northville area has been the site of a few different facilities. I 'm aware of the Northville Regional Psychiatric hospital. Where was the Wayne Co. Child Center in relation to it? And what facilities are still open in Northville - just the prison?
posted by NorthernLite at 8:05 AM on February 3, 2006

I was one of those kids that lived 50 miles away. The tunnels were a special attraction that only a few of us dared to partake in. I only went there maybe half a dozen time, but every one was amazing.One memorable night ended with us drinking beer at the top of an elevator shaft (maybe a bell tower... never could figure it out), at sunrise, with several others we had met on the grounds a couple hours before.

I haven't thought about the Tunnels in years. Great post.
posted by ikareru at 8:09 AM on February 3, 2006

Might make for an interesting meetup HuronBob, blackkar.
posted by klarck at 8:22 AM on February 3, 2006

You know the most tragic part of all of this is that despite the institutional treatment and abuse the kids got at places like these, our only modern alternative has been jail.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:45 AM on February 3, 2006

Fantastic post.
posted by MarshallPoe at 8:51 AM on February 3, 2006

Metafilter: our children will be brought up as morons, that will learn nothing but hate and will never have them home with us, which they would be better off.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:55 AM on February 3, 2006

HuronBob, where is Ypsi State Hospital? Sluggo, Ibeji, Klangklangston..?
posted by Slothrop at 9:08 AM on February 3, 2006

See also: Dark Passage. Hospital Hopscotch is pretty eerie.
posted by Teh Bean at 9:12 AM on February 3, 2006

I grew up just a few miles away (in Livonia), and going to the "tunnels" at night was a high school rite of passage.

Re: Northville Hospital -- I drive by regularly. There are always one or two cars parked out front (at least in the day), so if you're planning an "expedition," know that there is some security presence. But that is one spooky, godforsaken place.

(And, for what it's worth, Northville Hills is a fun golf course.)
posted by pardonyou? at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2006

btw, thanks for the post, Gator. Sure brings back memories.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:17 AM on February 3, 2006

FYI, before you go to NRPH, you might want to read the posts on this board.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:28 AM on February 3, 2006

NorthernLite - The Training Center was near Six mille and Sheldon. It is about two miles west of the NRPH.
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 9:44 AM on February 3, 2006

and I second Northville Hills for golf.
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 9:45 AM on February 3, 2006

You guys should totally start a Meetup thread in MetaTalk. I'd love to see what you come up with should you go spelunking in or around some of the other ruins mentioned.
posted by Gator at 10:55 AM on February 3, 2006

The Ypsi. State Hospital was out in York Twp. - take State Street east out past Michigan Ave. It looks like this is the land that Toyota is thinking of locating to in 2006.

Here is an anecdotal article from the Eastern Echo.
And here is a light spelunking photo tour. This one has a bit more.
posted by blackkar at 11:14 AM on February 3, 2006

This might take some of the fun out of it, but you can often get permission to enter abandoned building sites for photography, thus saving you some time in the black&white being booked for trespassing.

These are great links. I love abandoned buildings. If I lived up near HuronBob and gang, I would totally be in for a photo shoot at some spooky old place.
posted by dejah420 at 1:13 PM on February 3, 2006

"It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission" - Grace Hopper
posted by redteam at 1:37 PM on February 3, 2006

Wow. How cool to see something about the Tunnels. Great FPP.

When I first moved into my place in downtown Northville, I often drove up Sheldon Road to and from M-14 and looked out at the empty buildings of the old Maxey School (which is now in other digs in Whitmore Lake) that had been converted to what a friend called "classic nuthouse layout". Though a lot of my classmates at Stevenson (Livonia) during the 80s got into the tunnels and trespassed in the buildings, I never did, and I was kind of sad when they came down. A big part of me would love to get into Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital, just to see the place before it is undoubtedly changed into some kind of subdivision nightmare like the County Child Care Center. (I think the golf course only occupies part of the original site--the remainder is that subdivision.)

Though I still have the Northville home, I live in New Jersey, and I often am fascinated by similar sites out here. (The bit that appeared here about the Staten Island ship graveyard inspired me to drive by in fact.) But the Tunnels and the Maxey School were the first, and remain the most fascinating because I never really got to see them up close--well, until now, sort of.

That, and it's pretty neat to see how many other Northville-connected Mefites there are.
posted by trigonometry at 9:21 PM on February 3, 2006

Always an interesting browse.
posted by HTuttle at 11:36 AM on February 4, 2006

Thread's almost closed, but interesting story on the hazards (safety and legal) of exploring the Northville Psychiatric Hospital on the front page of today's Detroit News.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:28 AM on March 1, 2006

I still think the locals of this area oughta do a Meetup and put up pics. Thanks for the link, pardonyou.
posted by Gator at 3:26 PM on March 2, 2006

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