The fall weather in southern Michigan was perfect as we cruised past various facilities belonging to the department of corrections, looking for Ypsilanti State Hospital. We had no idea if it was still standing, what the security was like (especially with the prisons surrounding it), or even how to really pronounce "Ypsilanti..."
Luckily, what remained of it appeared out from behind a sparse thicket of trees - it looked like the medical building and a few others were gone, although there was no sign of rubble or equipment on site, just fields of grass. The front door was open, and the place looked like it had been abated and smashed out pretty thoroughly, but there turned out to be many incredible looking spaces in the old wards.
In the center of these wards was a grandiose pillared entrance, which led directly to the theater, and was built sometime after the 1950s. To either side were long, seemingly endless corridors that branched out to the numerous B and C wards. Behind this massive network was the secure facility, which appeared to be a forensic psychiatric area. We had to delve into the underground steam tunnels to find access to this section, which unfortunately was mostly locked up.
The full moon was rising as we left; with the clear sky and relatively low light pollution, it was a prime location to return for some night shots. After dinner we started walking back towards the hospital, to a point where we needed to cross an off-ramp from the highway. About 30 feet from the pavement we watched a car barrel down the off-ramp, over the curb of the divided road, and up a grassy slope which slowed it down... it stopped after denting a new car in a parking lot. The driver got out and started checking out the damage - it looked like he fell asleep on the highway. We quickly went on our way into the hospital before the police came, and were quite thankful we weren't in the road a few seconds earlier!