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UER Forum > US: Great Lakes > "Reform School"/Juvenile Detention - Southern Michigan (Viewed 127 times)

Location: Southern Michigan
Gender: Male
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"Reform School"/Juvenile Detention - Southern Michigan
< on 8/9/2020 3:48 AM >
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This site is located in a fairly rural area 60 miles or so southwest of Detroit. It opened in 1948, and closed somewhere in the 2013-2014 range. Most of the buildings date from the early '50s. For those 60+ years it evolved from a home for troubled boys into a juvenile correctional facility. It was always operated by an order of Catholic Priests, but pretty sure they contracted with the State of Michigan as well.

The campus reminded me of a small community college. The grass is still being cut occasionally, but otherwise it is empty. Three of the 15 or so buildings were accessible: The food service building/cafeteria, the church, and a school/recreation building.

All buildings were completely brimming with artifacts, as though the people who lived at and ran this place just got up and walked away one day. The township and the state are currently fighting over what this site will become next, with the state wanting to re-use it for corrections, and the township residents rejecting this.

The most striking items to me were the graffiti (from students, not taggers) and something called "The Book of the Names of the Dead" in the church, in which students were encouraged to write messages to loved ones that they had lost. Anyone from the area can easily identify via roads and geographic locations referenced in the graffiti/book the fact that a good chunk of the kids here were from Detroit.

This was really an amazing explore. You could truly get a feel for the lives of the people who spent time living here. Here goes...

The overall feel of the place:

The church exterior and general interior:

Strangely, there was some sort of makeshift apartment in the back of the church with beds, couches, wardrobes, newspapers from 2013, Taco Bell hot sauce packets. Also closets full of vestments and other church artifacts:

At the rear of the church, where you walk in the door, was The Book of the Names of the Dead, and some student (inmate?) graffiti. The Book really got me...

The school/rec center:

Food service training center/cafeteria:

A couple of final shots outside - bball courts, the pool, the gymnasium, football field, 1953 cornerstone:

Hope everyone likes this as much as I enjoyed exploring and learning about this site!

[last edit 8/9/2020 3:55 AM by jgomez12 - edited 1 times]

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UER Forum > US: Great Lakes > "Reform School"/Juvenile Detention - Southern Michigan (Viewed 127 times)

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