Traverse City Historic Asylum Photography Tour
Meander through the grounds of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a historic group of buildings that are currently in the process of being restored. Snap great shots of this former hospital that was built in the style of Victorian-Italianate architecture.
What You Will Do
- Wander through parts of these classically ornate hospital buildings and explore their historic design
- Take advantage of opportunities to capture beautiful up-close images of the inside of the historic asylum "cottages" that housed patients
- Travel the underground walkways on a tour that leads to a steam tunnel built in 1883
- Learn the history of mental health facilities in this country and the role this hospital played
- Guided Photography Tour of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, formerly the Traverse City State Hospital
These tours require guests to be physically capable to climb up and down steep stairs and walk through low-clearance areas. Significant walking (about 1 mile) will be required and refunds will not be permitted if you are unable to keep pace with the tour. The tour group will be led outdoors for the majority of the duration so please wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Cameras and tripods will be allowed, however any other audio/visual equipment is not permitted. Ages 18 & over. ID required.
Tickets are non refundable. Once tickets are purchased they can be rescheduled up to a year from purchase date.
- 33 Ratings
I the opportunity to photograph what I like from a knowledgeable guide. Made the 4 hour trip each way well worth it.
Our tour guide, Christian, was knowledgeable and friendly. Loved photographing the beauty of the old buildings.
Great opportunity to photograph the building.
These buildings are amazing and i highly recommend these tours to anyone who loves exploring and photography. The tour guides are amazing also
Great tour, always fun to go through the facilities and take pictures. Always find something new that I haven’t taken pictures of. Reforestation!
This is an awesome experience and opportunity. I love this kind of photography and I am coming back for and extended tripod tour on March 25, 2018. Would love to see more and I have been trying to have accomidation made for our newly formed Sault Photography Club. We learned of the tour late and were only able to secure 2 spots. I have been pitching it now for the March 25th tour and also if that did not work seeking interest in order to request a certain date in the future. Thank you
The tour guides were very informative.
Helpful tour guides. They were very helpful.
This tour was an amazing opportunity to see more historical buildings and take more photos than the previous tour we had taken. I enjoyed the pace of this tour and ability to take time taking more photographs. Thank you for making these tours possible! I would love to see more tours, perhaps one focused on the architecture, another with the barns/farming that was done on property and all of the different species of trees.
Getting access to the buildings that are not renovated was awesome . Tour guide was fantastic very informative . I liked the fact that we were able to shoot unrestricted . I would highly recommend this tour for any Photographer . R.L.Jacobs
We were allowed to wander and photograph what we were interested in. The tour guide was quite knowledgeable and that was an added bonus. It was pretty much what I had been told by a friend.
I had trouble finding the meeting location. The Village Store needs to be on the web site maps and described better in confirmation emails. (Maybe a direct link in the emails to a map?) I wish I would have known to bring a flash light. This would have been VERY helpful. And for your own promotional benefit, a link to your Facebook page and a suggestion to share photos there could be included in emails. On the plus side, I was very happy to see an untouched cottage. The group size was about right, but a larger group would have been problematic.
I enjoyed the freedom to walk around and explore the cottages. I appreciated the time we were given to capture our desired shots. And Crystal is a wonderful tour guide! :)
Had a great time. So awesome that you just let us wander around on a floor without too much supervision.
We had an awesome tour guide Crystal!
This was a wonderful opportunity as a photographer to shoot some very atmospheric photos, and I had a great time. Our tour guide was very helpful and informative. I would suggest that in the details you include that there are a fair amount of stairs to climb, and suggest that photographers might wish to bring a flashlight.
This was a great opportunity to take out of the ordinary photographs. I particularly liked having the ability to move around the buildings at our own discretion. This allowed time to study scenes and find the best composition. There was no need to rush our work and as a result I came away with several excellent photographs. Limited attendees gave photographers the ability to work alone without tripping over each other. Nevertheless, good photos do take time, especially working with difficult lighting as is the case inside GTC buildings. This makes for nice shots but I found my self thinking I could spend at least two more hours "at work". I saw several good settings that I needed to bypass due to time constraints. As a result, I intend to return for another photographic tour! I appreciated our guide's willingness to pause a bit, allowing one to finish a picture (even if it was a 3-5 shot HDR) before moving on to the next site. She did not adhere to a rigid timetable and that made the tour even more satisfying. Thank you for pointing out at least one location (where I got one of my best shots) that I would probably never have discovered otherwise. It was nice to get some historical information while traversing between buildings. Holding photographic tours only in AM and PM hours is another good idea which lets one take advantage of the "best" light. I am probably above average with my photographic ability and am OK with HDR, but have never really done any light painting. The only way to get certain pictures was by using that technique. I had a rough idea and tried it several times with mixed results. Only one shot worked to my satisfaction. I passed on several of these to focus elsewhere and make the best use of time. Our guide mentioned that there might be an upcoming tour that includes a photographer who could help with executing that type of shot. I would like to attend a light painting tour but would be most interested if it were included by adding an extra hour or so rather than making it the sole focus of the tour. I suspect there could be several photographers vying for the same spot at the same time. I do live in southeast Michigan so some planning of my part is needed to take advantage of any of the tours. Thanks again for the great tour. Paul Ostin
Krystal was organized and personable.