In 1965, Zeller Mental Health Center opened up on 5407 N. University Street here in Peoria. I remember joking about the place growing up. Zeller closed its doors in August of 2002 and today it’s a different kind of mental health facility—a college. I.C.C. opened up a North Campus over here and I thought today we’d visit and see if there’s any remnants from the old days when it was Zeller Mental Health Center. Grab your bookbag and pencil case and it’s away we go!
Off we go into the wild and very bright blue yonder. One of these days I need to do a post about getting some prescription sunglasses. One of these days, Alice!
We have arrived, let's park...
Okay, we've parked and I'm guessing that's the main office building over there. Hey, do you see what I see...
Spell check alert! Uh, I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat...
Let's go in and see if there's any fragments of the Zeller Mental Health years in here.
It looks like there's some construction going on, but I don't see any people in here. Let's keep going and see if we can find someone.
It's obvious people are working in here, but where the hell are they?
Here's an empty room. This is starting to feel a little weird, kind of like the pilot of The Twilight Zone.
Okay, I'm officially creeped out by the emptiness of this building, let's get the hell out of here and see if there's any human life outside on the campus.
Nobody out here...is today a holiday that I don't know about?
Hey check it out, a Massage Clinic! I've got a couple extra bucks, maybe I can get a "happy ending" in here!
Here's an office, but of course there's no one in it! This is starting to remind me of my Bronx Zoo visit! I'm terrified that that goddamned bird is going to pop up at any moment!
Your Sex Pistols moment of Zen.
Here's a waiting room with on one waiting in it. Is it Sunday? Did I oversleep for five days? What the fuck is going on here?
Nobody out here on this section of the campus either! What a lonely and sad post this is turning into!
Let's go in here, maybe there's some future cops in here that can tell us what's going on.
At first I thought it was another empty room in here, but I think I spy two living, breathing humanoids over there...
Houston we have made humanoid contact! This is Jace and Zonna who gave me directions to the office. I told Zonna i had never met someone with her name and asked if her parents were hippies. She laughed and said no, but that her dad was probably high when he named her. That's my kind of dad!
They instructed me to go down this hallway, which is of course empty...
And it leads to another hallway void of any human content.
I opened a door to find an actual breathing person at this desk! Let's go up and say hello...
This pretty lady is Lynn and she was very nice and helpful. I told her about the blog and that I was looking to see if there was any historical remnants or photos from the Zeller past in here. She gave me the number of Building Director, Kevin Roberts, I called it and he told me to meet him in his office. Finally this post may be taking some sort of shape! I thanked Lynn and high-tailed it over to Kevin's office.
And through the miracle of these here interwebs you're spared a walk down some more lonely, deserted hallways and here we are with Kevin. Kevin's a nice guy and told me he's worked for I.C.C. for 41 years! Sadly he also told me that he didn't know of anything from the old Zeller days that's left in here, outside of the buildings on the campus. He did tell me that he knows MBIP Contributor, Mike Foster, so at least we can queue this up. Well, this post is turning into a whole lot of nothing. I decided to go visit the school cafeteria and see if we could liven it up with a lunch there. I invited Kevin, but he said he had already eaten. And so we continue our lonely walk of shame.
And it's back down yet another humanless hallway. At this point I'd kind of welcome that damned bird from the Bronx Zoo. I'm dying for any kind of company right now!
Hey, check this out, you can register to vote up here. I haven't registered in Illinois yet, so let's step up to the table.
The two women at the table are Terry and Jean and they're with the League of Women Voters, but they still registered me. I'm guessing they saw the Goddess Boheme post. Alright, I'm all set up to vote, now if there was only a politician worth voting for out there I'd really be set!
Here's the cafeteria and of course it's empty.
Let's go through the doors and up to the counter and order. There's got to be someone behind the counter.
Well there were two ladies behind the counter, but neither would let me take their photo. At this point I just kind of gave up and ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. Some days you win and some days you lose! Chalk this one off for a loss!
I've decided to sit here for our sad and lonely little lunch.
The grilled cheese sandwich was pretty good. I got it with a slice of ham.
For dessert I got a package of Little Debbie doughnuts. They were delicious. We'll see you all tomorrow!
5407 N. University Street
Related posts: Bergan High School Revisited, I Had Lunch At Notre Dame High School Because Life Is Weird And Hilarious And Also Because It Was (Of Course) Chicken Thursday and This Used To Be...Peoria Spalding Institute (Now It’s Spalding Pastoral Center).