The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Victor C. Vaughan House

At their June meeting of 1938, the Regents agreed to enter into a revenue bond arrangement for a dormitory for medical students, which was to be on a financially self-liquidating plan (R.P., 1936-39, p. 562). In July they authorized the President and Secretary to apply to the government for aid in financing the construction of this dormitory as well as of several others for undergraduate men. An arrangement was also made with the Ann Arbor Trust Company which prepared to buy from the University $1,300,000 of an issue of dormitory revenue bonds, the proceeds of which sale, combined with the anticipated $945,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, were to be used to build dormitories, providing housing and dining facilities, as well as all necessary equipment and furnishings. The Regents committed the University to a thirty-year bond issue which together with the federal grant, if secured, would provide the funds for the building of the dormitories (R.P., 1936-39, pp. 599-601). It was further resolved that the Regents borrow the sum of $1,477,000 through the issuance and sale of dormitory bonds. This sum included an amount of $177,000 for the refunding of the bonds on the previously built Allen-Rumsey House. The proceeds of the bond sale were to be used for the construction of the Union and medical dormitories and the refinancing of Allen-Rumsey House as part of the Union dormitories.

The site was on University land at the corner of Glen Avenue and Catherine Street overlooking the Huron River Valley. The medical ward of the Homeopathic Hospital, destroyed by fire in 1927, formerly occupied this site. The dormitory was named in honor of Dr. Victor Vaughan, formerly Dean of the Medical School.

Vaughan House, facing Ann Street, is five floors in height. It has a brick and limestone exterior and is of fireproof construction throughout. At the left as one enters at the second-floor level are the offices and a suite for the dietitian and on the right facing the office is a spacious well-furnished lobby with an adjoining small reception room. Directly ahead are the open stairs leading to the lower floor and to their left is the second-floor student corridor. A section of the library is devoted to a book collection which was a gift from the children and wife of Professor Alfred O. Lee. Dr. Lee Page  1728taught the History of Medicine to premedical students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In addition to the collection of histories of medicine, a collection of works of physicians who had turned to writing in other fields is included.

On the lower floor is a large paneled lounge comfortably furnished. A long circular davenport provides for leisurely hours in front of the fireplace. At either end of the lounge are two small card rooms, and the dining room adjoins at the rear. A recreation room, laundry, and the kitchens complete this floor plan. In the basement adjacent to the trunk room is the darkroom for photographic work. The upper floors have space for 149 in single rooms, double rooms, and in suites for two and three.

In 1943, Victor C. Vaughan House was vacated to provide quarters for specialized army medical and dental groups, which continued their occupation of the house until the fall of 1945, when it was reopened for civilian use. During the war some of the fraternity houses were leased by the University to supplement housing for women. As these leases were terminated a shortage of facilities for women was created, and a decision was made to move them into Vaughan House in the fall of 1945. By the beginning of 1946 the veterans were returning to the University in such numbers that the girls living in Vaughan House had to be relocated in other women's housing. In 1946-47 as many as 240 men were living in the house under emergency conditions. The housing situation for men was relieved somewhat when the addition to the East Quadrangle was opened. Housing conditions for women became worse, however, and in the fall of 1948, in anticipation of the opening of a new women's residence hall in the spring of 1949, a group of women who were to form the nucleus of the residents of the new dormitory were assigned to Vaughan House. The men of Vaughan House thus displaced were moved to the University-owned residence at 730 Haven Street (later to become Adelia Cheever House) and in the spring of 1949 they moved back to Vaughan House. As the University enrollment grew, another large residence hall for men (South Quadrangle) was constructed. This made it possible again to supplement the housing for women by readmitting them to Vaughan House. The men living there moved to South Quadrangle as a group in the fall of 1951, and women have lived in Vaughan House since that date.

It should be noted that Victor C. Vaughan House was constructed as a residence for medical students. At the close of World War II, with the return of veterans in great numbers, it was decided that Vaughan House would not be available for medical students until such time as the demand for undergraduate housing lessened.

There have not been many changes in the building since its construction. As in all other residence halls, the capacity of Vaughan House was expanded in the summer of 1953. Suites which normally accommodated two students were converted into suites for three which increased the capacity from 138 to 149.