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Beauty is Eternal: A Modern Renaissance

Michelle Bien's avatar Michelle Bien

This series of photographs showcases a historic community's extraordinary transformations occurring during its current restoration. The handmade pinhole camera is intentionally designed to create exaggerated perspective and surreal moods that highlight the mystery of this significant place and time. The Northern Michigan Asylum (Traverse City State Hospital), with its majestic Victorian Italianate architecture and over 100 acres of farms and nature, opened in 1885 operating under the Kirkbride philosophy, “beauty is therapy”. Changing healthcare laws led to its close, decay, and threats of demolition. In 1993, a group of visionaries began transforming the vast network of buildings and land into The Village, a mixed-use residential and commercial community. The result is a modern masterpiece that honors its original brilliant vision via preservation. The project's growing success is inspiring future projects involving restoration, adaptive reuse, and renewed purpose.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 1 inch
  • Medium: Photography
  • Width: 60 inches
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 40 inches