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Tunnels of Traverse City State Hospital

The Traverse City State Hospital (also known as the Northern Michigan Asylum) was founded in 1885 and served as a home for the mentally ill for over 100 years. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as one of the few Kirkbride Buildings to remain in existence in the United States.

The Kirkbride Plan was a distinctive design for mental hospitals developed in the mid-1800s by the psychiatrist Thomas Kirkbride. These sprawling, linear buildings were laid out with two wings subdivided into several wards that stretched out from the center to encourage plenty of natural light and good air circulation, as well as segregate patients based on their gender and illness.


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