West Medical Building
"The erection of this building is a debt handed down from the nineteenth century which we are trying to pay at the threshold of the twentieth: the erection of a home for the Department of Medicine and Surgery of this University… It represents the fulfillment of a long cherished wish, the final relief of long felt wants, the realization, partly at least, of plans entertained for years and prospects opening for a bright future" (Mich. Alum., 8: 197-205).
So spoke the Honorable Hermann Kiefer, Regent of the University and Page 1754chairman of the committee on the Department of Medicine and Surgery, at the laying of the corner stone of the West Medical Building on October 15, 1901.
The building is situated on the east side of the campus, just north of the original Medical Building. Spier and Rohns were the architects, and Koch Brothers were in charge of the erection of the building, the total cost of which was $167,000. It was first occupied in 1903. The building is rectangular, measuring 175 by 145 feet, with an inner court 75 by 45 feet which admits light to all parts of the building. The structure consists of a basement and three stories. The exterior is treated in the Renaissance style of architecture. The basement and first story are faced with dressed field stone, laid in course. The upper stories are of pressed brick of light buff color and mottled, with ornamental and molded brick for belt courses, arches and cornices. The two main ornamental entrances are on the east and west sides and are constructed of Bedford limestone. The vestibules are faced with dark red pressed brick. The interior of walls and nearly all partitions are finished with stock brick and coated with enamel paint. The floors and corridors throughout the building are of quarter-sawed Georgia pine, except in the case of the anatomical laboratories which have monolithic water-tight floors. The ceilings throughout are of wood. The general finish of the interior is of Louisiana red cypress.
The building was originally occupied by the departments of Anatomy, Histology, Pathology, Bacteriology, Physiological Chemistry, and Hygiene. In addition to the spacious laboratories of these departments, the building contained two large amphitheaters, two large recitation rooms, and a suite of rooms for executive purposes. Space was also provided for the anatomical and pathological museums. The building in 1955 houses the offices of the Medical School and the laboratories of the departments of Pathology and of Physiological Chemistry.