Mercy General Hospital, Detroit, Michigan

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mercyFearing the Ku Klux Klan, Drs. David and Daisy Northcross left Montgomery, Alabama and settled in Detroit, Michigan. With the goal of rebuilding their medical practice and providing medical treatment in Detroit’s African American Community, the Northcrosses hoped to one day open a hospital in Detroit. Toward that pursuit, they formed the Allied Medical Society, the predecessor to the Detroit Medical Society.

The Northcrosses had hospital experience in Alabama, and that eventually led to one of Detroit’s first African American hospitals – Mercy General Hospital.  Opened in 1917, Mercy General provided doctors with a place to care for patients who were too sick to return home.

The original facility, complete with 20 beds, was located at 73 Russell Street.  The hospital grew and relocated to 688 Winder Street. Eventually, this second facility was demolished to accommodate the I-75 expressway.

Determined to keep the hospital open, the Northcrosses used the proceeds from the sale of the Winder Street facility ($400,000) to build a new hospital at 2929 West Boston.  The 50 bed hospital, however, did not survive the mounting pressure it faced from managed care.  Blue Cross first forced Mercy General to convert into a methadone clinic, and later an abortion clinic.

During its attempt to convert the hospital into a mental health facility, Mercy General Hospital was firebombed in 1976, thus ending the hospital’s story.

Photo credit: www.med.umich.edu

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Posted: July 9, 2014

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Category: All, Lost Hospitals, Michigan

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