The building was originally constructed as a dormitory for nuns and nursing students affiliated with nearby St. Francis Hospital (Hamtramck City Hall occupies the hospital space today). Later, it served as Hamtramck's police headquarters from 1972-2003. A jail cell from its police station days remains preserved at the Art Center.
Vacant until Hatch purchased it from the city in 2008, the building required considerable repairs and renovations. Through the generosity of many donors and hard work of community volunteers, we opened to the public in 2012.
Under Hatch, the building has been the focus of a design charrette coordinated by HKS Architects, P.C. It has been used as a set in several independent films, and played host to various community and nationwide events; such as a Hamtramck Soup dinner, Knight Challenge Grant info session, and special exhibitions with Art Institute of Chicago, University of Michigan and the College for Creative Studies.