"Building 50" - Description of Sections (Northern Michigan Asylum)
Northern Michigan Asylum (Traverse City State Hospital)
Building 50 - Description of Sections
"Building 50" is the centerpiece of the former Northern Michigan
Asylum (Traverse City State Hospital). Designed by Midwestern church
architect Gordon W. Lloyd, this large, mostly three story building was
built on what is known as the "Kirkbride plan" of institution design for
housing mental patients.
The building consists of twelve sections, eleven of which are labelled
in the photograph. The three-tiered Section labels refer to the three
stories of the building (for example, for "Section 18 12 6", 18 is the
third floor, 12 is the second floor, and 6 is the first floor).
Each of the numbers for the floors in a section referred to a "hall".
Reproduction courtesey of Anderson Aerial Photograph. Click
on the photo to view an unmarked version.
Most of the southern section was built in 1885. This section housed
male patients. The male cottages, starting with
Cottage 40 extend to the south from near Section 20.
- Section 18 12 6 - Extreme male patients. Built in 1885 as
a two-story wing, but expanded to three stories on the southern end
- Section 16 10 4 - Intermediate male patients. Built in 1885.
- Section 14 8 2 - Convalescent male patients. Built in 1885.
- Section 20 - This separate building was constructed in
1890. It was designated as an infirmary.
- Fry Wing - Built in 1924, the reddish brick on this section does not
match the rest of Building 50. Named for a state architect, this
wing was employee housing. This wing connects Section 20 with
Section 16 10 4.
- Old Center - not in photograph. Demolished in the early 1960s
- Canteen (50a) - This flat-roof mismatched section was built in
the late 1960s/early 1970s. This section is in active use at this time.
- Old Chapel (Library) - This was the old chapel, but was later
converted to a patient library and other offices.
Most of the northern part was built in 1885. This section housed
male patients. The female cottage buildings, starting with
Cottage 21 extend from the north of
Section 17 11 5. The most recent public tours of Building 50
have taken place on the first floor: halls 1, 3, and 5.
- Section 13 7 1 - Extreme female patients. Built in 1885 as
a two-story wing, but expanded to three stories on the northern end
- Section 15 9 3 - Intermediate female patients. Built in 1885.
- Section 17 11 5 - Convalescent female patients. Built in 1885.
- Section 19 - This separate building was constructed in
1890. It was designated as an infirmary. A later one-story addition
connected this building into Section 15 9 3, corresponding to the
Fry Wing in the southern section.