Project Description

The Southwest Detroit Hospital was built in 1971 and was located at 2401 20th Street, near the corner of Michigan Avenue. The Southwest Detroit Hospital was designed in a modern, metallic style by the Detroit-based architectural firm, Eberle M. Smith Associates. The Southwest Detroit Hospital was a steel-frame structure, wrapped with shiny silver metal, and glass windows overlooking the Chrysler Freeway. Southwest Detroit Hospital was created by the merger of four nearby minority hospitals – Trumbull General, Delray General, Burton Mercy, and Boulevard General. It would serve over 200,000 residents of southwest Detroit, most of whom were Black, Arabic, or Hispanic.

Within a few years of opening, the Southwest Detroit Hospital was already in heavily in debt and in severe financial distress. The hospital become unable to attract new patients and eventually declared bankruptcy in 1991. Southwest Detroit Hospital closed for good in 1993.

In 1997, the former Southwest Detroit Hospital opened as United Community Hospital when it was purchased by health care company owner, Harley Brown, and several other investors. By 1999, Harley Brown and his group of investors spent almost $8 million on redeveloping the hospital. Despite the investment and some lucrative government contracts, United Community Hospital also struggled financially. The quality of care and hospital conditions were all subpar. Unable to escape financial problems and under investigation for fraud, Harvey Brown and United Community Hospital were shut down in 2006.

After United Community Hospital closed in 2006, there was active security that patrolled the property, but this didn’t last long. By 2007, scrappers had found their way into the building and removed all the piping and most of the interior metal from within the building. Vandals have broken out most of the windows and thrown equipment down to the driveway below. Graffiti and “tags” are all over the exterior and interior of the former hospital. Patient record were just strewn about all over the place. The basement floor was flooded all the way up the loading dock and beyond. The former Southwest Detroit Hospital is a mess.

As of 2015, the former Southwest Detroit Hospital still sits abandoned. Although some plans have developed to turn the former hospital into an elderly home and apartments, nothing has happened.  The hospital sits in complete disarray.

 

Southwest Detroit Hospital in 2009-2010:

 

Southwest Detroit Hospital in 2011-2012: