Traverse City State Hospital

I’ve said this again and again but I really do live in the most beautiful place in the United States (“Good Morning America” agrees with me as well)! I also think I could get Jamie from “Ink + Adventure” to back me up on this as well :)

This Christmas, Santa brought me a Sony A6000 and I’ve been dying to play with it! :) It snowed a few days ago and I decided to have a mini photo shoot at the Traverse City State Hospital. The Traverse City State Hospital was built in 1885 as one of the major psychiatric hospitals in Michigan. The hospital worked on the philosophy of “beauty is therapy” which advocated kindness, comfort, pleasure, and beautiful flowers instead of restraints and straightjackets. While it primarily housed mentally ill patients, it also housed patients of tuberculosis, polio, diphtheria, flu, and typhoid as well as serving the elderly and recovering addicts.

Traverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerThe Traverse City State Hospital was listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1978 and classified as a Michigan State Historical Site in 1985. The hospital closed its doors in 1989 and was empty for the next 15 years. After undergoing renovations, many of the buildings are now chic apartments/lofts, upscale restaurants, trendy shops and the headquarters of many local businesses. To read more about the State Hospital and its exciting background, past, and future, visit the website here.

I shot both the renovated buildings as well as some of the rundown ones. Enjoy this beautiful, snowy place (and really, if you’re in the USA, you need to visit this gorgeous city on Lake Michigan).

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Traverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerTraverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerTraverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerTraverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerTraverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerTraverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerTraverse City State Hospital via Wayfaring With WagnerIs there is a place you love to photograph in your hometown? If so, I’d love for you to share the location (and link a post back if you have one!) :)

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  • These photos are gorgeous. And I loved reading about the story behind the hospital and the approach they took to healing patients. Pretty progressive for that time!

    • That’s exactly what I thought Sara…super progressive! I got really lucky that the snow was virtually untouched when I went and it wasn’t freezing (currently experiencing temperatures around -20F!) xo

  • As is probably obvious from my Durham album on FB, there are three spots/buildings I love to take photographs. One is at the foot of a pedestrian bridge over the Wear that I walk over every morning to get to my office; I’m usually there when the morning sun is just peaking over the horizon and between that, the clouds, the trees, the river, and the open cricket fields on the other side of the river, you can get totally different views/scenes from exactly the same vantage point.

    The two buildings are the Old Shire Hall of Durham, which is across the street from my office and has a gorgeous skyline for photographing against sunsets, and the Cathedral. Every single time I walk up the hill to the palace green, the Cathedral overwhelms me. That with the skies and the light you get up here (I’m convinced the light here is different from anywhere else I’ve lived. I think it has to do with how far north we are, and thus the angle that the light hits the earth) make a fool-proof photographic subject.

    • I love all the photos you post on Facebook!!! You really do have amazing morning light :) Now if I could motivate myself to wake up that early to catch the morning light! haha. Durham looks so gorgeous!!! If I end up in September (and I’m really hoping I do!!!), I’ll definitely have to come visit you!!! xo

    • It really is an awesome place, Marianne. To be honest, I don’t really go out a ton in the wintertime because it is always freezing in Michigan so this was a fun photo shoot to do :) xo

  • First of all, amazing photos!! I love how all your colors (especially the reds) really pop! I’ve been dying to get up to Lake Michigan, but haven’t been able to find the time yet! If I do, this will definitely be on my list :)

    • You definitely need to get up here, Lauren! The Traverse City area is especially gorgeous. Right on Lake Michigan and so many great day trips. Thanks for stopping by…checked out your blog…adorable! xo

    • Thanks so much Jamie! What kind of camera did you get? This Sony definitely takes some getting used to but I’m enjoying all these spontaneous photo shoots to practice :) xo

    • Thanks so much Alex! I was checking back to your blog every few days to see if you had updated! Yay for an update a few days ago :) Hope all is well!!! P.S. I got those J.Crew plaid flannel PJs we were both lusting over as an early birthday gift! YIPPEE!

  • *gasp* these shots! so pretty. and what a lovely model you have! i feel weirdly closer to you while you’re in the states. but then i calm down and realize it’ll be soo looong til i really see you again :/

    • Don’t be sad…it won’t be too long until I see you again!!! Glad I at least got to see your face via FaceTime! And don’t boost my sister’s ego too much ;) hehehe xo

    • Thanks so much Susan! Loved checking out the website…so jealous of the photographs from the old chapel at the State Hospital!!! Old, abandoned buildings are some of the best things to shoot! :)

  • What fantastic photos….. so beautiful! I love the way you captured both the exterior and interior of this building. I’ve heard so much about Traverse City from my Michigander fiance and I’d really love to visit sometime.