Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

House of Providence

House of Providence was located at 14th Avenue and West Grand Boulevard. Designed in the English Renaissance style, the building was erected in 1909-1910 and had accommodations for 150 patients. House of Providence was built in Detroit and was run by the daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul as an orphanage, a maternity hospital and an infant asylum. The House of Providence was converted into a general hospital and renamed Providence Hospital. Apartments were built in the hospital to house unwed mothers and their children.

On Feb. 12, 1927, it was announced that Charles T. Fisher, then the director of General Motors Corp., had gifted the hospital $200,000 to build an annex along 14th Street and Ferry Park Avenue that was devoted to the care of infants. The gift covered not only the construction but also the complete furnishing and equipping of the facility. The building was "to harmonize externally in design and finish with Providence Hospital, with which it will be connected by tunnel and bridges," The Detroit News reported the following day.

It was three stories and boasted a roof garden. The facilities included a clinic for otpatients, linen rooms, sterilizing and milk rooms. a lab, X-ray and physiotherapy departments, an operating room, and bathing facilities. The annex was to open just a few months after the announcement.

It was the latest gift from a member of the Fisher family to the hospital. Charles Fisher's brother, Fred J. Fisher -- who was vice president of GM -- had previously announced the gift of a nurses home and school for Providence.

The hospital continued serving the community for decades, but was demolished sometime after Providence moved to Southfield in 1965. The building in Detroit became a target for vandals and was filled with broken windows; in early 1970s Detroit, that wouldn't stand. A demolition permit was approved Aug. 20, 1974, but demolition would not start right away and stretched into 1975. The Young Manor apartment building is on the site now. The location of the infant annex is now a parking lot for the apartments.