WESTLAND, Mich. – Wayne County has sold off the former Eloise Psychiatric Hospital complex in Westland to developers for just one dollar.
The former hospital complex, spanning 28-acres, will be redeveloped into affordable senior housing and emergency housing.
The agreement was passed unanimously by the Wayne County Commission, which transfers ownership of the Kay Beard Building and other blighted properties to a Southfield-based development team.
History of Eloise
The Eloise began as the Wayne County Poorhouse, which opened in 1839 in the now defunct Nankin Township.
Nankin was a part of Wayne County, originally named Bucklin Township, and it included what are now the cities of Livonia, Inkster, Dearborn, Redford, Wayne and Westland.
The complex had its own police and fire department, bakery and railroad.
Eloise was one of the first hospitals to use x-rays for diagnosis. It was also home to the first kidney dialysis unit in Michigan.
The complex eventually expanded - spanning 902 acres, with more than 70 buildings.
The facility had a radium treatment for cancer patients, and the sanitarium was one of the first to use "open air" treatment for tuberculosis patients.
Psychiatric patients underwent electroshock and insulin shock therapy.
After the Great Depression, the population of the complex started to decrease, as reports of violence, questionable conditions, misconduct and overall neglect surfaced.
Farm operations ceased in 1958, and the psychiatric division began to close in 1977 when the state took over.
The main hospital closed in 1984.
Today, the hospital complex is only made up of about eight buildings, while the vast land around it has been converted to strip malls, golf courses and condos.