During Christmas vacation of 1950 the University announced that work on a new men's dormitory would begin as soon as weather permitted. The South Quadrangle, planned by the architect Andrew Morison and constructed by Bryant and Detwiler Company, of Detroit, was opened in the fall of 1951 (R.P., 1948-51, p. 618).
The building is situated on a 2.93-acre site bounded by State, Madison, Thompson, and Monroe streets. It has 347,263 square feet of space within its brick and limestone exterior. There are 33 triple rooms, 507 double rooms, 101 single rooms, a guest suite, and 14 suites for staff personnel. Its normal occupancy is 1,232 men students. The total cost was approximately $5,600,000.
The South Quadrangle gives students the intimacy of life in a small college and the stimulating atmosphere of autonomous families residing within a larger neighborhood community. The basic unit in the Michigan House Plan is the individual house. There are seven in this building. Each house is composed of two floors and each floor has two wings. Thus, each house contains eight families of about twenty men. In a house there is a house director who is primarily concerned with the health and well-being of the students. The resident adviser, a member of the faculty, is responsible for the academic tone of the house. He acts as counselor to individual students, as adviser to student organizations, and as sponsor of the house programs. Staff assistants, Page 1708usually graduate and professional students, live in each of the eight wings of the dormitory.
On the top level, or penthouse, are sun decks, a large study room, and a "ham" radio station. On the ground floor are five sound-proof rooms for those who wish to practice music, the South Quadrangle Council room, a suite of photographic rooms, two ping-pong and card rooms, a wired radio broadcasting station, and a library with adjoining study and typing room.
A snack bar, called the "Club 600" (from the address, 600 Madison Avenue) provides snacks and soda fountain service for the residents and seats 350. Parcel post, laundry, and dry-cleaning service are handled within the building, and student mail is distributed through individual combination lock boxes.
Food is prepared in a central kitchen and is served at two double cafeteria counters for four dining rooms, all on the first floor. One of the dining rooms is divided by means of a plastic curtain so that the entire room can be used for social functions.
Paneling in the first floor lobbies is oak and in the dining rooms wild cherry planking has been used. Furnishings are modern in design and are constructed of birch wood in a natural finish.
A common lounge for residents and a parlor for women are in each end of the main floor, and four automatic elevators service the upper floors. Each house has its own lounge in addition to a small powder room for women and a laundry for use of the residents.
In accordance with the Michigan House Plan tradition all seven houses have been named in honor of former distinguished teachers and scholars on the University faculty: Professors Fred Manville Taylor, economics; Moses Gomberg, chemistry; G. Carl Huber, medicine; Francis W. Kelsey, music and archaeology; Jesse Siddall Reeves, political science; Fred Newton Scott, English and journalism; and Claude Halstead Van Tyne, American history.
Reeves, Scott, and Van Tyne houses were not open until the beginning of the spring semester of 1952.