We’ve seen a lot of stories about Detroit, Michigan lately. There are abandoned stadiums, people who walk 20 miles to and from work every day, and a forgotten salt mine under the city itself. Well this story is definitely no exception. When driving through Detroit, you’ll see many abandoned buildings, but this abandoned hospital caught the eye of photographer Robert Johnson. This building was originally constructed as the Southwest Detroit Hospital. It closed its doors in 1993, and then was sold to an area businessman named Harley K. Brown. Brown planned on turning it into the United Community Hospital. Unfortunately, after he drove the hospital into the ground when he tried to advance his boxing promotion career, this hospital took its biggest hit. It has been completely abandoned for 9 years now, but luckily Robert Johnson decided to go inside and see what interesting things he could find.
Robert Johnson was in Detroit for 5 days, documenting a variety of abandoned buildings. But this one caught his attention the most, so he decided to explore.
Being vacant for 9 years, it looked like some of Detroit’s homeless population had started to call this abandoned hospital home.
As Johnson made his way downstairs, he came across this room. The metal stairs were starting to split and there was a sheet of ice on the floor below. In the corner, he noticed what looked like a crawl space, which he found very odd.
When he got down to the ground, he realized that this was not a crawl space at all. The basement had flooded and had since become frozen during the harsh Detroit winter.
Because some of the ceilings were so tall, he was able to stand up inside. There were items frozen into the ice that were clues from the past. They were encased, leaving a haunting sight in the cold abyss below his feet.
Once he started navigating downstairs, he let his intuition carry him throughout the building. He saw this piece of abandoned exercise equipment and decided that was the direction he should go.
In some of the halls, there were abandoned pieces of furniture in random places, including mattresses that were now frozen in the ice.
Some of the abandoned equipment had been there so long it was completely covered in rust. He decided to keep on moving to see what else was there, just waiting to be discovered.
When he looked down, he saw a large table underneath him near the surface of the ice. When he took the picture, he heard the sound of splintering ice which echoed throughout the basement.
The splintering noise definitely scared Robert Johnson. Can you imagine falling through the ice in this nasty cesspool? He dropped to his stomach and decided to crawl out instead, dispersing his weight evenly on the ice. He figured while he was down there, he might as well capture a picture.