On the Henry Ford Hospital Campus, we have some incredible historic buildings that we see and work in every day.
The main hospital, Clara Ford Pavilion and the “M” building are a few of the structures that have been part of the Campus for decades.
Did you know that the “M” building was once part of the original construction developed for the first Detroit General Hospital?
Through the years, our Facilities team, using their creativity and expertise, has been able to upgrade, resurface and restore many historic parts of the Campus.
In fact, the four base floors of the hospital units (I-H-A-B-F) were completed in the early 1920s; the floors currently provide support for the inpatient units residing on those floors.
The Clara Ford Pavilion’s first floor conference room in the Department of Medicine shows the grandeur of the old construction, and how restoration and modern upgrades can create spectacular results. Anyone who has been to Europe has seen what is possible for structures even older than ours.
When we were looking to house our Innovation Institute, we wanted to place it prominently on Campus.
Since Clara Ford Pavilion currently is being used for departmental and physician offices, the Education (“Old Ed”) building, located next door, seemed to match our needs.
The “Old Ed” building was designed between 1923-1925 by the Detroit architect Albert Kahn to house the teaching and recreational facilities for the nurses and hospital staff.
The dedication in 1925 was held in the second floor gymnasium, which also functioned as an auditorium (see archival photo above).
In attendance at that event were Henry Ford, Clara J. Ford, Edsel B Ford, Eleanor Clay Ford, Dr. Frank J. Sladen, Prof. C.E.Winslow, nursing director Katherine G. Kimmick, R.N., and other nursing staff members.
The “Old Ed” building had gone through several iterations, starting as a true conference center, where events such as nursing school graduation or international medical symposia were held. (Henry Ford and his wife, Clara, even passed out the diplomas on the south stage of the second floor in the building.)
That space, along with the third floor balcony and projection area, was subsequently used as a gymnasium, bull pen for office cubicles, disaster planning support and even storage of certain waste.
Today, the “Old Ed” building is home to the Innovation Institute, which opened in 2011.
The vision of Innovation Institute directors, especially Dr. Scott Dulchavsky, and our Facility planners was to create a space for high creativity and bold statement.
Architects from the SmithGroupJJR put that vision into the plans for the Innovation Institute, and created a true showplace on the Campus.
And its stage is still in place.
Now that stage is host to some incredible events, most notably TEDx, a local adaptation of the internationally known TED conferences that brings together people from various disciplines to discuss a particular topic.
Still, one of my favorite areas in the Innovation Institute is the third floor balcony.
It was converted into a high-tech conference room with a glass enclosure overlooking the second floor.
Click on each of the above images for a full-size view.