Hospitals used to look like big mansions...roomy, cozy, and a little more homey than the sterile hospitals of the 2000s. Being a patient in one of today's hospitals – let's face it – ain't no fun. The hospitals of 100 or more years ago were more like what a Bed & Breakfast is today.

The oldest hospital to appear on the North American continent was in Mexico City back in 1524. The first to appear in one of the thirteen original colonies was New York's Bellevue Hospital in 1743 followed by the Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, in 1751.

At first, hospitals seemed to be getting a bad rap – people who needed medical attention believed that the place to be taken care of was home. Hospitals were thought of more as an “asylum” or on a 'poorhouse' level. But, according to Health Care Design Magazine, “with the improvements in hospital facilities and the advancements in medical practices and technology.....the perception was fading that 'home was where the sick should be treated and hospitals were associated with pauperism and death'.”

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Looking at the gallery below, you'll notice many of the old hospitals have the appearance of mansions. Some were originally built by the rich as a home, then donated for the purpose of being a hospital. If some old hospitals were intentionally built to resemble mansions, I didn't see any historic record of that. But it's interesting to see how much more huge and garish these facilities became in the 21st century.

When Michigan Hospitals Looked Like Mansions


Inside the Old Rowe Hospital, Stockbridge

Abandoned Funeral Home Where Houdini Was Embalmed

Abandoned Southwest Detroit Hospital

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