ABOUT THE BOOK
A generation before Oakland County became synonymous with automobile manufacturing,
attracting a large state hospital would begin to transform the area from its
rural roots. The facility that resulted was a city within a city, imbued with
the optimism and exuberance of an America celebrating its centennial, and designed
by one of the most prolific and accomplished architects of the Gilded Age.
Meticulously researched and profusely illustrated with some 150 long-forgotten
historic images, Asylum: Pontiac’s Grand Monument from the Gilded Age,
recounts the original 1870s construction and opening of what was most recently
known as the Clinton Valley Center. It also highlights the hospital’s 122-year
presence in the city, and ultimately, its decline and eventual destruction.
This book tells the story of how enterprise, stewardship, and innovation created
19th century Pontiac’s first “economic engine.” Beyond the
buildings, it also reveals how the early hospital was a catalyst for a remarkable
confluence of individuals who played historic roles in several fields. Biographies
of many of these early leaders have been painstakingly collected and assembled
from archives and repositories scattered across the nation.
More than a requiem, this book is a celebration of a landmark, and a poignant
reminder of what a community won and lost.
Elegantly proportioned and replete with fascinating sidebar stories, this book
generously sized in large 9x12-inch pages. The 104-page volume should
be in the collection of anyone interested in the region’s colorful past,
Michigan history and architecture.
Asylum: Pontiac’s Grand Monument from the
104 pages – soft cover
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002093886
Printed in the United States of America
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