THE ATHLETIC PLANT
The earliest demands for recreational facilities on the part of University of Michigan students were answered by the transformation, in 1858, of a manual exercises building, erected in 1856 (R.P., 1856, p. 650) and used as a drill room, into a gymnasium of sorts with apparatus which consisted of a few bars, poles, ropes, and rings. This building, which stood near the site of the heating plant on the east side of the campus proper, was used only in warm weather, as it was erected on poles sunk in the ground and had a tanbark floor. In 1868, however, these facilities were increased with the construction by the class of 1870 of a "gymnasium in embyro," near the center of the campus behind the Museum, and to the south of South Wing of University Hall. This structure was described as "two uprights with a crossbeam and ropes dangling from eye-bolts." A third recreational center, provided in 1885, was the Old Rink, later to become the Armory, which was fitted up as a gymnasium.
In the meantime, demands for outdoor play facilities had already been met. In early times informal play was limited to that corner of the campus where later Page 1580Waterman Gymnasium was built and to the old Fair Grounds, now Burns Park, in the southeast part of the city. The University first recognized the need for athletic facilities in 1865, when the Board of Regents appropriated $50 for the care of a cricket field and $100 for the same purpose in the following year.
Because the playground on the campus was wholly inadequate and the Fair Grounds unsatisfactory, since they were not adapted to college games and not subject in any way to University control, the Regents in 1890 purchased for $3,000 the south ten acres of what is now Ferry Field and made necessary improvements by grading and drainage. This original field, called Regents' Field, included a quarter-mile track with a 220-yard straightaway on the north side and inside the track a baseball diamond and football gridiron.
In 1902 Dexter M. Ferry, of Detroit, donated to the University an additional seventeen acres to the north of the old field, and the combined tract was called Ferry Field. In 1904 the brick wall was constructed on three sides of it, and in 1906, through the gifts of Mr. Ferry, the gates and ticket offices at the northeast corner of the field were added. Later expansion to the west of the original acquisitions and to the south below the wall has enlarged the entire plot to approximately eighty acres.
Football games were played on the first gridiron, which ran east and west on the original Regents' Field, until 1906. Wooden stands to accommodate 400 persons were put up in 1893, but these burned in 1895 and were then rebuilt to seat 800. A grounds-keeper's house was also erected, and stands seating 1,500 along the straightaway of the running track were constructed. By various stages facilities were expanded, and a record crowd of 17,000 was accommodated at the final football game on the old Regents' Field in the fall of 1905.
In 1906 the site of intercollegiate activities on Ferry Field was shifted to the north part of the field. A new gridiron running east and west, with a quarter-mile cinder track around it, was built there. The baseball diamond was also moved north to the present site of Yost Field House. Wooden stands were erected beside the new gridiron, but in 1914 those on the south side were moved, part of them to the baseball field, and the first unit in the construction of a contemplated U-shaped concrete stadium was begun.
Only the south unit of the concrete stadium, first used in the fall of 1914, was ever completed. It was designed after a study had been made of similar stands in other universities, and at that time it was considered one of the best bleachers in the country. It provided seats for 13,600 people and was constructed at a cost of $100,000. The north and west sides of the old field were occupied by the wooden stands, which were kept covered during those seasons of the year when they were not in use. These stands, which seated approximately 46,000 persons, proved far from adequate, however, in that they did not begin to accommodate the huge football crowds attracted to the intercollegiate games after 1920, and, as a result, a strong movement developed favoring the erection of a larger stadium.
The site of the Stadium includes more than fifteen acres and provides a practice fairway on the east side. The first football game was played there in 1927.
The crowded condition of Waterman Gymnasium as the result of increased demands on the part of the Physical Education Department created an urgent need for added facilities, particularly for intercollegiate competition, and in 1922 Fielding H. Yost, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, was appointed Page 1581chairman of a committee to investigate the possibility of a gymnasium on Ferry Field. Final action approving such a building was taken later that year with the acceptance of plans by the Board in Control of Athletics and the erection in 1923 of Yost Field House at a cost of $563,168.
The Field House, which made it necessary to move the baseball diamond and stands about 150 feet west of their old site, replaced the previous club house, erected in 1912 to provide locker and shower facilities previously available only at Waterman Gymnasium. In 1928-29 forty tennis courts (clay, concrete, and asphalt) for intercollegiate and intramural play were constructed on Ferry Field.
The importance of physical education for women was early recognized by the erection of Barbour Gymnasium, as an addition to Waterman Gymnasium, in 1896-97. The building was made possible largely by a gift of property, valued at the time at $25,000, from Levi L. Barbour, of Detroit, a Regent of many years' standing. This particular gift, as it developed, was only partly used for the erection of the women's gymnasium. The women's athletic field was purchased in 1908 as the result of two gifts, one of $1,500 from the Honorable Peter White ('00) and one of $3,000 by Senator Thomas W. Palmer ('49), of Detroit, and was named Palmer Athletic Field. The original field comprises almost seven acres west of Lloyd, Mosher-Jordan, and Stockwell halls. It affords facilities for outdoor track, including two cinder tracks and jumping pits; a hockey field used also for soccer, lacrosse, and golf practice; an outdoor picnic site with fireplace; sixteen tennis courts, twelve clay and four cement; a putting green with an adjacent court used for volleyball or croquet; space for horseshoes and quoits; and an elevated terrace used for instruction in the various sports.
In 1955 the athletic plant of the University of Michigan covered approximately 235 acres and was valued at approximately $6,000,000. Plant expansion of more than two million dollars had been accomplished since 1921, when Yost became Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. From 1941, when Herbert O. Crisler (Chicago '22) became Director, more than $3,000,000 has been spent on plant expansion. This was made possible mainly by revenues of the department itself.
(New) Athletic Administration Building
Work on the University of Michigan's new Athletic Administration Building was begun in August, 1954. The building is being financed out of athletic receipts derived principally from football. It is expected to cost approximately $365,000.
The new building, on the corner of State and Hoover streets, has an area of approximately 19,400 square feet and houses a modern streamlined ticket department, offices for the administrative staff and director, quarters for coaches in all sports, as well as the athletic publicity department. It was completed in the spring of 1955.
The architects were Giffels and Vallet, Inc., of Detroit, and the Henry de Koning Construction Company of Ann Arbor, held the construction contract.
The former Athletic Administration Building will be occupied by the staff of the Men's Physical Education Department.
(Old) Athletic Administration Building
The old Athletic Administration Building on South State Street near the Page 1582main entrance to Ferry Field and just north of Yost Field House is now occupied by the staff of the Men's Physical Education Department. Erected in 1912 as an athletic field clubhouse, it was the first of the modern buildings constructed on the enlarged Ferry Field. It measures 57 by 64 feet and has a floor space of 8,249 square feet. It is built of brick and stone in an attractive modified English Tudor style.
Before the erection of Yost Field House and the Intramural Sports Building, almost all athletic activities were centered in this clubhouse. It was fitted out with showers at the rear, locker rooms at each side, and had a large lecture room on the second floor. With the construction of Yost Field House the original function of the building changed. In 1925 extensive alterations were made in the interior arrangement at a cost of $26,000.
In 1894, shortly after the completion of Waterman Gymnasium for the men of the University, the erection of a gymnasium for women was undertaken.
The campaign for the new building was conducted mainly by the Women's League, which had been organized in 1890. For a number of years every organized effort of the women of the University was directed toward raising funds for this gymnasium. Regent Charles Hebard ('79m) raised $10,000 and John Canfield, of Manistee, gave $5,000. Among the gifts was a transfer of $711 from the Mary J. Porter Fund, one of the first alumnae contributions to the University. Altogether, almost $21,000 was raised during the period from 1892 to 1897. To this sum the Regents added approximately $20,500. The total cost of the building, which was occupied in 1896, was $41,341. The architect was John Scott and Co., and the contractor Henry Carew and Co.
In December, 1895, Regent Levi L. Barbour, of Detroit, gave the University several lots in Detroit which, according to the original intention of the donor, were to be used for an art building. At the meeting of the Regents in January, 1898, however, it was moved by Regent Fletcher that "in view of the generosity of Ex-Regent Barbour in giving property valued at $25,000 to aid in the erection of the Woman's Building on the campus, that hereafter the building be known as the Barbour Gymnasium." Apparently, there was some verbal agreement that a part of this gift should be considered as a gift to the women's building rather than toward an art building.
Barbour Gymnasium, containing 35,456 square feet, was built as a part of the Waterman Gymnasium building, and the two gymnasiums were connected by doors which could be thrown open on special occasions, such as the University Senate receptions and the annual Junior Hop, which for years were held in the two buildings.
Originally, all of the first-floor space, with the exception of the gymnasium, was used as parlors and as offices for the Dean of Women and the Department of Physical Education for Women. The building at first was used frequently for large social occasions.
The offices of the Dean of Women were moved to the Administration Building when it was opened in 1948; the Department of Physical Education for Women continued to be housed on the first floor, which was renovated. A well-equipped corrective room occupied a part of this space.
The gymnasium is about 90 feet square. The running track has long since been condemned. The kitchen was remodeled into staff rooms.
The Sarah Caswell Angell Hall on the Page 1583second floor was condemned as a theater in the middle 1920's, and its seating capacity was limited to 250 several years before the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater was completed; it is now used for instruction in dancing. The basement also houses a fencing room and a record room.
The University Coliseum building, which stands on Hill Street at the corner of South Fifth Avenue, about three blocks from the University's Athletic Field, is used during the winter as a student skating rink. It was purchased by the Board in Control of Physical Education in 1925 and adapted for skating and hockey at a total cost of $104,837. The development of this property was a part of the general program in physical education for the student body inaugurated at the time that the Stadium and the intramural Sports Building were erected and the Women's Athletic Field was developed.
The Coliseum is a large steel and concrete structure. In 1949-50 the ice rink was remodeled at a cost of approximately $235,000 to provide a seating capacity of 3,500. Since the building became University property, it has been in use throughout the winter months for skating and for intercollegiate hockey matches.
The Golf Course and the Golf Service Building
The University of Michigan Golf Course was opened on September 26, 1930. It contains approximately 165 acres. The land is valued at $178,367, and the buildings at $165,478. Completed in 1950, the University's modern clubhouse was constructed at a total cost of $273,500.
Facilities for both male and female golfers have been provided in the new edifice, with separate locker and showerroom installations. Two hundred and fifty lockers have been built for the men and fifty for the women. In the basement of the structure practice nets have been set up. A spacious lounge and snack bar are included in the facilities on the first floor.
Most impressive of all the advantages of the new building, however, are the eleven rooms on the second floor. It has been the practice of Coach Oosterbaan to isolate the football team after its final practice of the week. The players now have the advantages of the clubhouse at their disposal. The comparatively distant location from the campus of the clubhouse assures the players of a night of complete rest. Previously, they were often affected adversely by the pep rallies and snake dances which wound excitedly by their quarters in the Field House.
The building has an area of approximately 20,800 feet. The architect was Douglas D. Loree, of Ann Arbor, and the general contractor the Henry de Koning Construction Company. A unique feature is the terrace which looks over the course, one of the most beautiful in the state. In addition, the golf clubhouse has provided local golf fans as well as students with modern, beautiful, and serviceable facilities that could be expected only in a private country club.
In the spring of 1955 a new nine-hole course adjacent to the present 165-acre course was opened, at a cost of approximately $12,000.
With the construction of a second field house on Ferry Field, provision for intramural sports was made for the entire student body. Just as the neighboring Yost Field House provides for intercollegiate athletics, the Sports Building affords ample facilities not only for the development of the individual Page 1584student but also for interclass athletics, particularly basketball, indoor tennis, squash, handball, and various forms of track athletics, boxing, wrestling, and swimming.
The building, which stands on Hoover Avenue at the north end of Ferry Field, was completed in 1928. Its construction began in 1927.
The intramural Sports Building extends for 415 feet along the street and is 110 feet wide. Thus, it is somewhat longer but not as wide as Yost Field House and is similar in architecture. It is a long brick building in Lombard Romanesque style, simple in general outline, which is, however, broken by tremendous monumental entrances on either side, extending above the general line of the roof; these divide the building into two wings, of which the shorter extends to the east. Immense arched windows give ample light for the various sports carried on in the building. Provision was made for more than four thousand lockers for the use of students and faculty.
To the left of the entrance on the first floor of the shorter wing is a large room almost 100 feet long, designed especially for boxing and wrestling. This room also contains a beautiful tiled swimming pool, 75 by 35 feet, completely equipped with adjacent lockers and showers. The longer wing at the west is taken up on the first floor by fourteen handball courts and thirteen squash courts. On the second, or main floor, the central section is occupied by the administrative offices of the Department of Intramural Athletics. A completely equipped auxiliary gymnasium on the east side was designed for faculty use. The wall between this room and the room which houses the swimming pool can be raised for swimming meets, permitting the installation of seats for as many as 960 spectators. A vast gymnasium 252 feet long, large enough for four basketball courts, occupies the full length of the west wing. A special feature is the floor of heavy maple laid over an underfloor of two by sixes. The building is effectively soundproofed. It was designed by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, of Detroit, and the Palmer Construction Co. held the contract; it was completed at a cost of more than $743,000.
Michigan's football Stadium was completed in the fall of 1927 and forms one of the most satisfactory and practical football fields in existence. Its designation is in reality a misnomer since it is of the amphitheater or bowl type of construction, rising only slightly above the ground level on the east side.
The site of the structure was decided upon in the spring of 1926, and plans for construction were made during the following summer. Increased interest in the record of Michigan's football team, resulting at almost every game in an attendance much larger than the old stands on Ferry Field were able to accommodate, eventually led the Board in Control of Athletics to consider expansion of the University's athletic facilities. As the result of a report presented in January, 1926, by a University committee under the chairmanship of Professor Edmund E. Day, later president of Cornell University, a plan was developed for the reorganization and expansion of the athletic facilities of the University. Thus, the Stadium was only one part of a broader program which included the construction of the Sports Building and the Women's Athletic Building and the development of the University Golf Course and the Women's Athletic Field.
To finance this extensive program, bonds were sold to alumni and to friends of the University, giving them preferred Page 1585seats at all games for a period of years, these bonds to be retired progressively as the receipts warranted. The total improvements cost amounted to more than $2,000,000, of which the cost of the Stadium represented $1,183,545.
The site for the Stadium was a matter of some discussion, but eventually property, including some sixteen acres and 119 city lots, was acquired on South Main Street just across the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks from Ferry Field. This area was purchased by the Board in Control of Athletics for $239,000, including the cost of some lots which were taken under condemnation proceedings. The right of the Board in Control of Athletics to acquire land by this means was upheld by the state Supreme Court during the course of the negotiations. The site formed a gentle slope rising from the valley of the old Allen's Creek near the Ann Arbor Railroad to the level of South Main Street.
In considering plans for the Stadium it had been decided, in accordance with the recommendation of the Day committee, to make it a place to hold football games under the most favorable circumstances, with no emphasis upon monumental construction. Accordingly, a bowl type of structure was chosen which took advantage of the natural characteristics of the terrain so that the Stadium rests in the soil of the hillside instead of being enclosed within high concrete walls. The structure is above ground only on the east side, the only wall being on this side; on the west the top seats are level with the street, with some seventy rows of seats, seating 85,753 originally, stretching down to the playing field. A series of steps on either side of the main entrance leads to a wide areaway for the players.
The architects, instead of designing the structure in the form of a perfect ellipse, as in the Yale Bowl, provided for sides parallel to the playing field, bringing the spectators much closer to the side lines. This feature alone — the proximity of the seats to the playing field — has made Michigan's Stadium one of the most satisfactory in this country. The Stadium is 756 feet long and 586 feet wide and includes fifteen and one-half acres.
The strategically placed entrances and exits around the entire upper edge and in the center of the east side have also made it possible for crowds to disperse rapidly; in fact, the exact time for emptying the Stadium is thirteen minutes. To care for the throngs which come to Ann Arbor on football days, parking facilities have been supplied on all sides of the Stadium, and special city traffic regulations permit street parking during the games. Locker and shower room facilities for home and visiting teams are provided under the east side of the stands. A press box was erected over the west side of the Stadium. It affords room for five radio booths and 250 newspaper correspondents. The box was designed by Bernard L. Green ('91e) of the Osborn Engineering Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, and was built by James Leck and Company, of Minneapolis, general contractors. A new press box is now being built.
In 1949-50 additional steel seats were erected at the top of the Stadium at a cost of $304,340, making the total seating capacity 97,239.
Waterman Gymnasium was completed in 1894 after years of appeals and effort on the part of students. An elaborate report on the subject of a gymnasium was presented to the Regents by a committee of the University Senate in 1870 (R.P., 1864-70, pp. 7-22), and for a time a grant by the Board seemed possible. Unfortunately, the necessary funds were not available, and all appeals for a Page 1586special appropriation were refused by the legislature. In 1878 a concerted student movement had developed through the reorganization of an earlier Football Association which became the Athletic Association of the University, an incorporated society which had as its principal objectives the building of a gymnasium and the establishment of a trust fund for the moneys raised for that purpose. By 1883 the sum totaled some $4,000, which amount was greatly increased by the time the building was actually erected ten years later.
The first step toward the construction of the gymnasium came through a gift, in 1891, of $20,000 from Joshua W. Waterman, of Detroit, on condition that other donors should contribute a like amount (P.R., 1891, p. 13). President Angell was able to report in 1894 that $42,705, including Mr. Waterman's original gift, was available for the construction of a gymnasium, to which was added $6,095, the amount of the fund originally raised for a gymnasium by previous student efforts; this was used for equipment.
Although the erection of the building was contemplated in 1892, the financial stringency of the period limited the amount of the subscriptions, and in order to complete it the Regents found it necessary, eventually, to add a contribution of $14,000. The total cost was $65,134.14 (R.P., 1891-96, p. 516). The architect was E. W. Arnold. The gymnasium has a frame of structural ironwork enclosed within a shell of brick walls, with skylights in the ceiling. Its dimensions were 150 by 90 feet, and a shallow wing along the south side provided offices for the director and rooms for medical examinations. A balcony was devoted to a running track of fourteen laps to the mile. The basement was occupied almost entirely by a locker room and showers.
With the growth of the University, the gymnasium proved inadequate. Plans for enlargement were accordingly prepared, providing for an addition making it 248 feet long, with corresponding additions in the locker room and shower facilities and a track of ten laps to the mile in the balcony. These additions, which were completed by the University Department of Buildings and Grounds in 1916, gave the building a total floor area of 57,000 square feet.
Plans for the additions also provided for a swimming pool, a change in the entrance, and the addition of more office and examination rooms, but funds were not available. In 1924, however, a number of alterations were made in the wing devoted to offices for the Department of Physical Education.
Women's Athletic Building
The Women's Athletic Building on Palmer Field was erected in 1928 as part of the program in physical education for women undertaken by the University Board in Control of Physical Education two years earlier. For some years the athletic activities of the women of the University had been centered at Palmer Field, an uneven and rather hilly tract of land south of the hospitals and the Observatory. With the development of the extensive athletic program for the entire University, which took place with the erection of the Stadium and the intramural Sports Building, provision was made for the women by leveling Palmer Field and erecting a suitable field house on it.
The Women's Athletic Building, on Forest Avenue, at the east end of North University Avenue, was constructed at a total cost of $154,000. It has two stories and a basement, and a floor area of 27,387 square feet. Designed by the Ann Arbor architects, Fry and Kasurin, it is built of red brick with white pillars at Page 1587the front, in a simple Georgian tradition. The building is used as an athletic club, where social occasions may be combined with active sports participation. The big terrace which overlooks the playing fields is provided with colorful umbrellas, tables, and chairs.
The first floor houses the main office for the distribution of sports equipment, the main lockers, dressing rooms, showers, and the equipment-storage room. In the basement is a four-lane bowling alley, a sixty-foot rifle range, and ten indoor golf cages.
Women's Swimming Pool
The dedication of the Women's Swimming Pool Unit on April 17, 1954, marked the completion of one important project in the over-all plan for a new and modern women's athletic building, which is planned to meet the needs and interests of students in a present-day program of physical education.
As early as 1923 recommendations for a women's pool had appeared in the annual reports of Dr. Margaret Bell, chairman of the Program of Physical Education for Women, and in 1928-29 provisional plans for a swimming pool were submitted to the Board in Control of Atheltics. In 1937, upon receiving the approval of the Board of Regents, the Women's Athletic Association sponsored a drive for funds. Many student organizations and alumnae groups contributed to the project. By 1940 about $10,000 had been accumulated in gifts or pledges. By the time construction of the Pool began approximately $28,000 had been donated to the Women's Athletic Association fund.
In November, 1949, the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics advised the Regents that they were prepared to begin construction of the pool "at an estimated cost of $775,000" provided the University would furnish the necessary site and maintenance (R.P., 1948-51, p. 574).
The site chosen was the west part of the block facing Forest Avenue between Geddes and North University avenues. This area, except for three University-owned houses, was occupied by private dwellings. Authorization was given for appraisal of those properties not owned by the University, and within a year the site had been secured. Eight houses were removed before construction could begin. In September, 1950, the Regents approved a contract with Alden B. Dow, of Midland, Michigan, and Kenneth C. and Lee Black, of Lansing, Associated Architects.
In February, 1951, Dr. Bell was appointed chairman of the Planning Committee for the Women's Gymnasium and Swimming Pool. H. O. Crisler, Fritzie Gareis, Marie D. Hartwig, Matthew Mann, and Elmer D. Mitchell were the other members of the committe, which was to work with Lynn Fry and Oscar Cartwright of the staff of the College of Architecture and Design of the University.
The preliminary plans for the Swimming Pool Unit were accepted by the Regents in October, 1951. The Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics informed the Board of Regents that it could furnish $853,000. In April the Regents granted the architects permission to complete, within the $1,116,000 budget, final plans and specifications, providing a total seating capacity of approximately 800. As soon as construction was authorized the Board in Control passed the following resolution:
Whereas, It appears that after application of approximately $30,000.00 now in the "pool fund" of the Women's Athletic Association, after making certain changes in the plans to reduce costs, and after giving effect to certain other adjustments outlined by the Director, the total cost to the Board Page 1588under the Jeffress-Dyer, Inc., proposal will amount to approximately $1,006,000.00; and
Whereas, … the Board finds itself in a position to commit approximately $1,000,000.00 of its funds to the construction of the swimming pool unit:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved that:
(1) The Board approves the proposal submitted by Jeffress-Dyer, Inc., and recommends its acceptance;
(2) The Director is authorized and directed to inform the Board of Regents and the Officers of the University that this Board will make available, as needed, approximately $1,000,000.00 for the construction of the swimming pool unit; and …
(4) The Director is authorized and directed to continue consultation and negotiation with the contractor and the architects with a view to accomplishing further reductions in cost not involving changes in the size of the building
(R.P., October, 1952, p. 621).
Ground breaking exercises were held on October 25, 1952. Among those present were President Harlan Hatcher, Dr. Margaret Bell, Regent Vera Burridge Baits, H. O. Crisler, Mrs. Lola Jeffries Hanavan ('12), of Detroit, chairman of the Alumnae Building Committee, Professor Laurie Campbell, and Miss Nancy Fitch ('53), a past president of the Women's Athletic Association. In April, 1954, dedication ceremonies, highlighting the completion of the building took place. President Harlan Hatcher presided; Mrs. Vera B. Baits represented the Regents and the administration. Others included H. O. Crisler, representing the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics; Mrs. James A. Lafler, representing the alumni; Mrs. Lola Jeffries Hanavan; Dr. Margaret Bell; Deborah Bacon, Dean of Women; Susan Riggs, retiring president of the Women's League, and Marion Swanson, president of the Women's Athletic Association. In presenting a portrait of Dr. Bell to the University on behalf of the students and alumnae Mrs. Hanavan said:
These ceremonies today climax years of patient effort and fond hopes. It is said that into every accomplishment goes the record of some great personality, someone who has selflessly devoted himself to that undertaking. … Into this building has gone the personality of a great woman, a great teacher, and a great physician.
A water show by the women's swimming group followed the official ceremony. In all, four performances were given during the two-day event, with approximately 3,000 persons in attendance.
The new building is modern in design, of red brick construction. Inside are two spacious lobbies, with cream and green mosaic rubber tile floors, attractive furnishings and plants. Two locker rooms, with facilities for 724 persons, are furnished with hair dryers, full length mirrors, and private dressing booths. A conference room and a check room are also available. In the instructors' office is an FM radio and phonograph and underwater speakers and microphones connected with a public address system which can be switched to all parts of the building.
The pool room includes a grandstand area with seating for more than 700 persons, a six-lane pool basin, 75 by 44 feet, surrounded by a wide tile runway, high and low diving boards, outlets for television cameras and sound apparatus, and a window through which underwater swimmers may be observed.
The building was opened on March 10, 1954, for the first formal swim. Built at a cost of $1,070,000, it is serving the growing needs of the Women's Physical Education Department and other University and community groups. It is used not only for scheduled classes but for corecreational swimming by students and University staff members. Elementary and intermediate swimming classes are offered as well as diving, synchronized Page 1589swimming, life saving, water safety instruction, and competitive swimming.
Yost Field House
Yost Field House was the first of the three great structures which have made Ferry Field one of the finest college athletic fields in this country. The building, 365 feet long and 165 feet wide, extends along State Street on the east side of Ferry Field. It was built in 1923 and was designed for indoor track events and intercollegiate sports, particularly football, baseball, basketball, and track athletics. It provides a total floor space of 87,386 square feet, comprising one great room with a dirt floor, 300 by 160 feet, and a space 63 feet high entirely clear of obstacles.
To afford facilities for year-round training, it was necessary that the building be of huge dimensions, with a complete football gridiron. It was constructed after designs by Smith, Hinchman and Grylls, of Detroit, at a total cost, fully equipped, of $563,168. While the building is exceedingly simple in design, relieved only by long rows of tall windows at the sides and ends, it follows the spirit of the Italian Romanesque in its decorative details. Despite its size and massive qualities and the necessity of adaptation to its function, the architects were able to make it both impressive and dignified.
Yost Field House is, in reality, a building erected over an immense playing field which permits room for a seventy-five-yard dash at the center and an eight-lap running track around the balcony. A portable basketball floor on which intercollegiate contests are held is set up each winter in the center of the main floor. Down each side are seats for the accommodation of some 7,500 spectators. Fixtures for a second balcony were installed, but this balcony has not been constructed. At the north end are locker rooms, showers, training-room and equipment-room facilities for all freshmen, varsity, and sports participants on Ferry Field; offices; and a boiler and fan room for heating purposes. A laundry for athletic equipment of all types was also installed.
From the date of its dedication on November 10, 1923, the building justified its construction, affording ample opportunity for practice in football and baseball during winter weather. It is also used for varsity basketball games, while the track facilities enable aspirants for the team to begin practice early in the spring. Even batting practice for baseball is conducted on the huge field.
Yost Field House was built with the proceeds from the earnings of the athletic program. It was named by the Board in Control of Athletics in honor of Fielding Harris Yost, coach of the football teams from 1901 to 1924 and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics from 1921 until his retirement in 1941.
The old Automotive Laboratory in the West Engineering Annex was out of date many years ago and several attempts were made to obtain new facilities. The latest efforts, which met with success, were begun in January, 1953, when a brochure was prepared outlining the requirements for a new automotive laboratory. The publication was prepared in consultation with leaders of the automotive industry in Detroit, who contributed much valuable time and information to the project.
The final requirements were submitted to the University administration in time Page 1590to be included in the request for funds in the spring of 1953. As a result, $72,000 was appropriated by the legislature for the preparation of plans for this new facility. A contract was placed in 1953 with Giffels and Vallet, Inc., of Detroit, as architects for the building, which was to house equipment for instructional and research problems in internal combustion power plants of the reciprocating and turbine types, chassis and body engineering, and allied subjects. Provision was made for offices and graduate research rooms, as well as for a large open area in which various types of work may be carried out. The North Campus was approved as the site for the building in January, 1954. The complete designs and specifications were presented in September, 1954.
The legislature appropriated the sum of $750,000 in May, 1954, to begin construction. An additional amount of $1,028,000 was appropriated in June, 1955, to complete the structure, making a total in appropriations of $1,850,000.
The building is of reinforced concrete, two stories in height at the north test cell end and three stories on the south end, where the garages and offices are.
It has a total floor area of 62,000 square feet. There is no basement under the test cells. The structure has been faced with ceramic and glass panels in aluminum frames; it has a brick facing on the west side, on the dynamometer section, and on the two ends. A construction contract was placed with the O. W. Burke Company in October, 1954.
The equipment to be housed in the building consists of internal combustion engines of all types, fuel rating engines, gas turbines and jet engines, fuel flow and metering devices, facilities for accessory testing, such as starters and electrical and fuel injection systems, supporting instrumentation of modern types, such as dynamometers, and all forms of recording and control devices. It is estimated that equipment for this laboratory will cost approximately $1,250,000.
Burton Memorial Tower
The first suggestion of a campanile for the University appeared in May, 1919, in an editorial in the Michigan Alumnus. The writer lamented the necessity of removing the clock and chimes from the tower of the old Library Building to the Engineering Shops Building where, he feared, the bells could no longer be heard for any distance. He expressed the hope that eventually a new clock tower might be "set high in the center of the Campus, to be at once a landmark and a thing of beauty" and suggested that the need for such a campanile offered opportunity to some alumnus who might desire to leave a memorial "at once practical and beautiful."
President Burton, in his Commencement address of 1921, gave further life to this idea by suggesting the erection of a tower to serve as a memorial to the 236 University of Michigan men who had lost their lives in World War I. He envisioned a campanile tall enough to be seen for miles, suggesting that it stand at the approximate center of an enlarged campus as evidence of the idealism and loyalty of the alumni. As a result of President Burton's suggestion, the directors of the Alumni Association were authorized to consider ways and means for the construction of such a building.
The proposal that the tower serve as a memorial to Michigan alumni who had lost their lives in World War I failed to meet with general approval. After President Burton's death in 1925, a suggestion was made by Shirley W. Smith, Secretary of the University, that no more fitting memorial to President Burton Page 1591could be devised than the campanile and chimes which he had always hoped for. This idea found immediate favor with the alumni, and plans for a campaign were formulated under the general direction of the Alumni Association. The University of Michigan Club of Ann Arbor made the erection of the tower part of its contribution to the Ten-Year Program, while each of the classes which had graduated during President Burton's regime undertook to raise funds for the carillon. In this program it was estimated that some 18,000 graduates would be approached and a total of $89,000 raised.
A plan of organization was developed, but the onset of the depression caused the temporary abandonment of the plan, and it was not until Charles Baird gave the carillon of fifty-three bells to the University in 1935 that the matter of the tower was again revived (see Part VI: The University Musical Society and The School of Music).
Several sites were suggested as possibilities for the carillon, including the roof of Angell Hall and the tower of the Michigan Union. These all proved impracticable, and it became evident that the construction of a bell tower would be the only solution. The University, however, did not have sufficient funds for the erection of such a building, although the Murphy and Hegeler Music Building funds were transferred to the Tower Fund by the directors of the University Musical Society, and the Regents supplemented this nucleus by other available funds held in trust. The University of Michigan Club of Ann Arbor undertook to raise the $25,000 still necessary to complete the tower.
It was determined that the proposed tower should be of practical as well as aesthetic value; otherwise, University funds could not be used for its construction. Moreover, it was to be built near the center of the developing campus and the proposed School of Music building, since the classrooms in the tower were to be used by that School. These considerations resulted in the eventual choice of the site adjacent to Hill Auditorium.
The Burton Memorial Tower was erected during the 1935-36 school year and was formally dedicated on December 4, 1936. Simple in general outline, it is built of Indiana limestone with long shallow buttresses extending to the top and emphasizing its height. The tenth floor, on which the bells are housed, was designed to provide opportunity for visitors to view the surrounding terrain from the terrace between the outer screens and the inner screens protecting the bells and the playing mechanism. Access to the bell chamber is designated at times on a sign board at the entrance to the Tower. The bell chamber which is forty feet high, with an observation floor above, is designed to offer the largest possible openings for the sound of the carillon. Its floor is 120 feet from the ground; the over-all height of the Tower is 212 feet. It is 41 feet 7 inches square, contains a basement and ten floors, and 19,848 square feet of floor space. Albert Kahn, of Detroit, was the architect. The final cost of the Tower was $243,664.61.
Immediately below the bell chamber are the offices and practice studio of the carilloneur; the mechanism for control of the clock and the "Cambridge Quarters" played automatically on five of the large bells is also on this floor; the seven stories below contain some forty classrooms, practice rooms, and divisional music library, all utilized by the School of Music. On the first floor are the offices of the University Musical Society. An elevator services the first eight floors of the Tower.
This rather unusual use of the Tower was made possible through the novel plan of its construction. Instead of thick Page 1592masonry walls, the building is constructed as a reinforced concrete shell faced with limestone. This affords a much larger floor area and ensures a more rigid structure.
Inscribed on the walls in the entrance foyer are the names of the many alumni and friends of the University who contributed to the erection of the building.