Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital

The COVID crisis has given me some time to make progress on posting all of the pictures and locations from my days of exploring abandoned buildings. Getting all of the material online is something I really want to accomplish, but don’t make enough time to work on. For the most part, I backdate my posts to around the time I posted my pictures on my old site to preserve some sense of continuity. When I went to look for my NRPH posts, though, I discovered that I never named the location on the site. So, I’m going to make this a new post. Also, the pictures are somewhat respectable, unlike some of my very old content!

If you want to know about the history of NRPH, please check out my friend Nailhed’s post about it. Nailhed is a prolific explorer and diligent historian, and it would be ridiculous for me to try to relate the history of this place when there is so much comprehensive information out there including pictures of many areas I never saw. His post also tells the story of my Detroit friends slowly exploring more and more of the complex despite challenging security, which is a great read.

Suffice it to say, security was frequently a problem at Northville. Over the years there were multiple guards stationed on site at times, there was a lot of drama with the police arresting people who went there, etc. That’s not to say the explorers of the greater Detroit region didn’t get in, but it wasn’t somewhere you could just waltz into and start fooling around. My group of out-of-staters were usually content with the literally innumerable locations where you could just waltz into and start fooling around in Detroit, so we hadn’t visited, despite knowing that it was a great place to see and photograph.

Eventually, the planets aligned and circumstances presented themselves which allowed us to…I would say “almost completely legally” visit. We actually had beer and the famous Buddy’s pizza hanging out outside on the grounds, which was definitely not something the average explorer was ever able to do. It’s solely due to our incredible Detroit friends that we were able to do something as special as that. It was late in the day after a long day of exploring and we needed to eat before we went inside, so our time inside was somewhat limited. We didn’t get to see everything, but our friends knew where the photographers of the group would want to go and took us straight there. I was more than satisfied!

I felt really lucky to be able to see this place with no drama or risk. The risk was certainly part of the fun when I was exploring but, unlike some people in the hobby, I also appreciated times when I could totally relax, take my time, and make as much noise as I wanted. One member of our group also had some personal associations with this place from back when it was operational, which also made it special to visit.

The years I spent exploring were maybe not the most stable time of my life, but they were certainly some of the most fun. Most of the people in our circle have gotten older and have more concerns about legal issues and careers, and at the same time good locations are not as plentiful as they once were. I feel very lucky to have caught the tail end of the peak period of exploring, and also to have met the people I met. There is no way I can ever explain how generous and fantastic my friends from Detroit were. They took us anywhere we wanted to go, went as fast or as slow as we wanted, and were just great company. We could learn more history than we could ever remember about a place, or we could hear stories of ridiculous exploits and drunken debauchery that took place there to keep us laughing. We had so much fun out there. Our visits were 3 or 4 days of pure fun and camaraderie pumped directly into the bloodstream.