Thursday, September 10, 2015

(Photo) Abandoned Southwest Detroit Hospital

It only makes sense that since there are thousands of abandoned homes and factories in Detroit--tens-of-thousands of the former--that there will be forsaken hospitals in the Motor City.

One of those is Southwest Michigan Hospital--this graffiti magnet is visible from three expressways.

Here it is from the perspective of Interstate 75 before a city-mandated clean up began.

Purge, Suey, Retro Boy are all prolific Detroit taggers. I'm sure their parents are proud of them.

Southwest is in the news today.

From the Detroit Free Press:
Detroit's battle to force commercial property owners to fix up or tear down blighted buildings has taken on a big target: the old Southwest Detroit Hospital, the eyesore visible from the junction of I-75, I-96 and Michigan Avenue.

The Duggan administration reached a consent agreement with the building's owner, Harley Brown, in July. It requires Brown to paint over the graffiti that has covered the building for years, secure it from vandals, pump out water in the below-ground truck delivery wells, remove overgrown vegetation, remove trash and debris from the site and repair the exterior.

The agreement called for the work to be done by Aug. 10, but the city agreed to extend the deadline because Brown and the 11-person cleanup crew has been making significant progress, said the city's top lawyer, corporation counsel Melvin (Butch) Hollowell.

"Southwest (hospital) has been one of the biggest eyesores in the city of Detroit for more than a decade, and it’s very visible from three of the major freeways," Hollowell said this week. "It's really moving in the right direction. It looks 85% better than it did before."
Southwest Detroit Hospital has an interesting history. As housing segregation was common until the 1960s, so was medical care. Southwest Detroit was formed by a merger of several black-run hospitals. It opened in 1974 but it struggled to attract patients. It closed in 1993, but it reopened as United Community Hospital in 1997. But the same problems returned and UCH closed its doors in 2006. The building has been vacant since then.

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