The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Couzens Hall

In June of 1923 the Regents accepted a gift from the Honorable James Couzzens, of Detroit, United States Senator from Michigan, of a sum "up to six hundred thousand dollars" for "the construction of a building for the housing of student … and graduate nurses" (R.P., 1920-23, p. 822).

The President's Report for 1922-23 recorded, "The need of a Nurses' Home, and the desirability of its very speedy erection has been too often pointed out in the past to be enlarged upon here… The Home is an indispensable part of the Hospital, and should by all means be Page  1611ready when the new Hospital building is opened." Later, in the same report, it was stated:

The gift … is the largest presentation made to us in the course of the year… Without the facilities properly to house its nurses the new Hospital would be placed at such a disadvantage that it could never be operated as we would wish to see it. It is interesting to note that the announcement of this gift seems already to be having its effect. Applications for admission to the Nurses Training School of the Hospital received during the summer in which this Report is written show a substantial increase, which is extremely gratifying and testifies to the fact that the provision of this fine Home will add immensely to the attractiveness and success of the courses for nurses. Senator Couzens' appreciation of the need in which we stood and his very generous aid at this critical point have won him the gratitude of all the friends of the University.


(P.R., 1922-23, p. 170.)

Albert Kahn, of Detroit, was chosen as the architect for the building, and H. G. Christman Company, of Detroit, was awarded the contract at an estimated amount of $600,000 in January, 1924.

Excavation for the building was begun in November of the same year, and in August, 1925, the dormitory was completed at a cost of $622,724.76.

In 1925-26 the Michigan Alumnus reported that owing to lack of funds only the bedrooms could be furnished at that time, but the Regents authorized the expenditure of $15,000 from the Woodward Avenue Lease Fund for furnishings and equipment (R.P., 1923-26, p. 623).

The building afforded a gross floor area of 87,262 square feet and had approximately 250 student rooms, most of them singles, with a few doubles, accommodating about 260 girls. The four-story residence, constructed of dark red brick with white trim, consisted of a center section and two wings in the form of a letter "H."

The basement contains facilities for instruction — an amphitheater, faculty offices, laboratories, classrooms, an assembly hall, and also a game room. In addition to student rooms, on the first floor are a lobby, the reception rooms, the living room, and a library; the lobby, living room, and library are beautifully paneled in walnut. The two upper floors are devoted entirely to student rooms.

At the rear of the building, overlooking a beautiful garden and, beyond that, the women's athletic field, are sun porches, one on each floor.

An addition to the building and remodeling of the present structure were completed in 1955, for which Ralph R. Calder was selected as architect. The building will now provide accommodation for 530 girls. The work is estimated to cost $1,754,000. The construction contract was awarded to Spence Brothers of Saginaw.