• Phone: 313-833-1300

About Us


The mission of Hannan Center is to preserve the dignity and enhance the quality of life of older adults 55+ in Michigan.


The vision of Hannan Center is older adults are respected, valued, and empowered to reach their potential connected to a community of their choice.


Commitment to Healthy Aging – Hannan Center is committed to enriching the lives of older adults. We enable those 55+ to find fulfillment and meaning in their lives. We aim to help them reach their fullest potential.

Empowerment – We empower and enable older adults to make informed choices, advocate for themselves, and advance the interests they value most.

Respect – Hannan Center believes life experience matters and recognizes the inherent dignity in each person we serve.

Innovation – We pursue novel and creative approaches to enrich the lives of people as they age.

History of Hannan




In 1917, William H. Hannan, founder of the Hannan Real Estate Exchange, passed away leaving his sizable estate to his widow Luella Hannan to “be bequeathed to such charities for the people of Detroit as she should appoint.” On September 12, 1925, Luella Hannan incorporated the Luella Hannan Memorial Home (later changed to Foundation), to “found, build, and maintain a home for aged or infirm persons of the City of Detroit who have been accustomed to enjoying the comforts of life, but who through a change of fortune, have come to reduced circumstances.” When attempts to find a suitable build location failed due to neighborhood resistance, Luella directed the Trustees to use the income from the Trust to support older people in their own homes.

Three years after Luella Hannan died in 1931, the John Scudder Foundation for Old People was established as a bequest by the wealthy Detroit manufacturer John Scudder.  The purpose was “to aid, in the broadest manner, in the care of elderly people without means of support and to do so without regard to race, creed, sex, nor color.” Both foundations had similar missions and the smaller Scudder Foundation shared the same trustees and staff as the Hannan Foundation retaining distinct, separate endowments.

It was in 1971 the two foundations merged into one legal entity. To honor Luella Hannan’s original vision, and because there was a need for affordable senior housing in Detroit, the Foundation constructed a four-story, 45,000-square-foot resident building on Woodward Avenue within the heart of the Wayne State University, Cultural, and Medical Center area. Over the next 20 years, ‘Hannan House’ operated as a licensed home for older adults with limited resources. As more subsidized housing was constructed in the immediate area, the Hannan House model became less appealing. Recognizing a desire to further the work of serving and supporting seniors, the Hannan Foundation began to assess how it would carry out its mission in a changed environment.

Following a cooperative, extensive evaluation in 1993 with Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology and an advisory group of senior service providers, the Hannan Foundation transitioned ‘Hannan House’ into a multi-tenant non-profit center. They then continued their work and housed other organizations serving and benefitting seniors. Partners at Hannan now include tenants like AARP, Operation Able, and the American Chinese Association.

Separate from the Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization was created in 2017 named ‘Hannan Center’. Hannan Center provides programming for the Foundation while increasing the potential for funding opportunities and partnerships. They support older adults and develop and provide programs and services meeting the ever-changing and vast needs of metro Detroit older adults. Hannan Center provides an opportunity for creative aging and a life filled with purposeful activity for older adults.

Today at Hannan Center

Celebrating its centennial in 2025, Hannan Center’s older adult programming includes the Zena Baum Senior Service CenterMy Neighborhood Connections, Occupational Therapy, and Active Connections; Daybreaka caregiver daytime program providing care to individuals experiencing dementia; Beyond Uaffordable professional instruction for older adults, Arts & Culture based workshops and courses; and lastly a showplace for the creative aging practice of our participants – the Ellen Kayrod Gallery.