Traveling down 5 mile in Plymouth township I came across this complex surrounded by razor wire, and I knew this was not your typical abandoned motor-court. I stopped and took a few pics ( I got some from the parking lot, I don’t trespass ) and then when I got home I found out it was the old Detroit House of Corrections or DeHoCo. Interestingly, the main building was designed by famed architect Albert Kahn.
The first Detroit House of Correction opened in 1861 near Detroit’s Eastern Market. In 1919, the city of Detroit purchased approximately 1,000 acres in Plymouth Township to house a new Detroit House of Correction. A prison farm, with inmates sleeping in tents, was opened in 1920 of which there is a group of silos from the farm still standing in a field next to the defunct prison.
A permanent maximum security facility was completed towards the end of prohibition in 1930, I imagine there were some bootleggers and members of the Purple Gang that paid there debt to society at DeHoCo. It was eventually sold to the Michigan Department of Corrections int the 80’s and renamed Western Wayne Correctional Facility and became a women’s facility, The prison closed in December 2004, it is slated for demolition. Many places I photograph, I like to see saved, but in this case, I can’t see where this would be of use to the community, it’s not like a school or church that people have fond memories of. I am glad I was able to get some photos of it, in case it’s gone soon.
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