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


East Quadrangle

The aid received from the federal government in the building of West Quadrangle and Victor C. Vaughan House paved the way for the erection of Stockwell Hall and East Quadrangle. Professor Lewis M. Gram, Director of Physical Plant Extension, submitted a communication to the Regents on August 22, 1938, proposing the construction of the Health Service, a women's dormitory (Stockwell Hall), and an addition of two floors to the University Hospital. The Regents acted favorably on this proposal and added a fourth project for a men's dormitory to accommodate 410 men and to make an addition to the University Power Plant. Application to Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works was authorized, and the grant amounting to $630,000 for the men's dormitory and Power Plant alterations was accepted October 29, 1938. The Public Works Program provided for a federal grant amounting to 45 per cent of the cost.

Morrison and Gabler of Detroit were selected as architects, and preliminary plans and specifications were approved at the December, 1938, meeting of the Regents. The all-trades contract was awarded to the Bryant and Detwiler Company of Detroit in the amount of $647,817 on February 24, 1939.

The project (PWA Project Docket, Michigan 1714-F) became known almost immediately as East Quadrangle. It is on the north half of the block bounded by East University, Hill, Church, and Willard streets. Some difficulty was encountered in obtaining some of this property; however, the Cuyahoga Wrecking Company of Cleveland, Ohio, succeeded in completing the demolition without any serious delay to the general contractor. The fireproof building has a brick exterior with limestone trim, is four Page  1706floors in height, and contains 143,977 square feet. In plan it has an inner court completely surrounded to form a hollow square and is divided into four houses with no intercommunication except through the court. Two dining rooms for two houses each and the kitchen are on the first floor, south side. At either end of the commons running along the dining rooms are entrances from East University Avenue (main entrance) and Church Street. Each house has its own lounge, recreation room, study room, and suites for resident advisers and associate advisers. As originally designed there were 167 double rooms and 114 single rooms providing accommodations for 398 students.

The houses, in honor of former professors at the University, were named: Burke Aaron Hinsdale House (the west unit facing East University Avenue), Charles Ezra Greene House (the north unit facing Willard Street), Moses Coit Tyler House (the east unit facing Church Street), Albert Benjamin Prescott House (the south unit). Hinsdale House until the beginning of World War II was used as a house for graduate and professional students.

East Quadrangle was formally accepted by the Regents on March 1, 1940, and was opened to students in the fall of 1941. The completed cost of the project was $1,083,551.

The war years left their mark in East Quadrangle through its use as a housing unit for enlistees of the Military Intelligence Department, the Army Air Force, and Army Engineers. The first indications of the military atmosphere came in the fall of 1942, when a group of forty freshmen R.O.T.C. students elected to live in East Quadrangle in barrack style under the direction and supervision of the chairman of the Department of Military Science and Tactics. They became known as the Steuben Guards and continued their role under Army discipline until the end of the semester, when East Quadrangle was vacated to make room for the Army groups, specializing in the study of the Japanese language and in training as weather observers. These contractual arrangements with the armed forces continued until July 1, 1945, when two of the houses were released for civilian use, and later on January 1, 1946, all government contracts at East Quadrangle were terminated. The four houses soon filled up with freshmen and returning war veterans.

With prospects of a large enrollment following the war the Regents authorized a study of residence halls expansion in January, 1945. It was decided to proceed with plans for financing additional housing units, one of which was an addition to East Quadrangle.

Immediate steps were taken to purchase the property in the south half of the block, and Andrew Morison was appointed as the architect. The George A. Fuller Company was given the contract for the construction as part of a cost plus fixed fee managerial contract under which other campus buildings were being constructed. Ground was broken in May, 1947, and the first two houses (Henry Clay Anderson and Charles Horton Cooley) were ready for occupancy in the fall of 1947. Joseph Ralston Hayden and Louis Abraham Strauss houses were completed just before the Christmas recess. The dining services for the addition were completed and ready for use when the residents returned from the holidays. The names given to the houses were those of former distinguished members of the faculty. The new houses were filled beyond capacity by students who had been given housing accommodations at Willow Run. The complete capacity of East Quadrangle including the addition was 924, but because of the extreme shortage of housing three men were assigned Page  1707to each double room and two to single rooms, thus 1,480 men were accommodated in the fall of 1948.

The addition, of 153,039 square feet, is "U" shaped and is attached to the original building at the south end of the kitchen wing, forming two open courts facing East University Avenue. The architecture is similar to that of the original building. The completed cost of the project was $2,304,964. As in the original building each house has its own lounge and recreation rooms. Suites are also provided for the advisers, and an office for the addition is adjacent to the entrance on East University Avenue. The residents of the four houses eat in two dining rooms on the first floor.

The great demand for housing for women led to a decision to assign Tyler and Prescott houses to women in the fall of 1952. The opening of South Quadrangle and the return to a more normal housing situation for men gave impetus to the decision. This move caused great concern to the men of East Quadrangle, who had just nicely begun to re-establish their customs and house organizations following the war. It was a great disappointment to them and especially to those who were displaced by this turn of events. The girls were received with some reluctance; however, it was not long before their acceptance was complete and they became a part of the East Quadrangle organization. The "coed" residence hall thus established by necessity has become popular with the residents and has been instrumental in the planning of a future residence for men and women. Properly designed and administered with consideration for the activities of both men and women it should prove to be a forward step in the advancement of the Michigan House plan.

As the University enrollment began to increase the necessity for additional housing became critical. In order to provide some relief the capacity of East Quadrangle was increased to 1,050 in 1953, by making permanent triple rooms of large doubles and double rooms of large single rooms. The work was carried on by the Henry deKoning Company, of Ann Arbor at a cost of $65,393.

South Quadrangle

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.

West Quadrangle

Allen-Rumsey House, the first unit of West Quadrangle, was constructed in 1937. The architectural firm, Lane, Davenport and Meyer, of Detroit, designers of an addition to the Union, developed a residence hall plan in connection with the Union expansion. Working drawings for the first unit of the dormitory were prepared by them, and in December the Regents authorized the sale of revenue bonds in the amount of $185,000 to provide funds for equipment and construction. The building contract was awarded to the H. B. Culbertson Company on January 21, and the Buildings and Grounds Department was authorized to do the mechanical trades work. The total cost was recorded in the 1938 Financial Report as $181,212, which included land and equipment costs. The dormitory was named in commemoration of John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, reputed cofounders of the city of Ann Arbor. The dormitory provided housing for only 114 men in spacious double rooms and was ready for occupancy in the fall of 1937. Meals were provided for these residents in one of the private dining rooms of the Michigan Union.

Through the efforts of Regent Lynch and Regent Shields a proposal including a grant from the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works of the federal government was acted on by the Regents by mail vote in July, 1938. The proposal contemplated the completion of the residence hall development of which Page  1709Allen-Rumsey House was the first unit and the construction of another residence hall to accommodate medical students. This expansion was made possible by an outright grant of 45 per cent of the project cost by the federal government. The remaining 55 per cent of the cost was to be borne by the University through the sale of bonds. A resolution authorizing the application to the Public Works Administration was approved in July, 1938, and in August the Regents accepted the Public Works Administration grant amounting to $945,000. At the same time they authorized the sale of bonds in the amount of $1,477,000 to finance the University's share of the project. Included in this bond issue was $177,000 to cover the refunding of the outstanding bonds on Allen-Rumsey House.

The Stewart-Kingscott Company, of Kalamazoo, was selected as architect. Property facing Madison Street, Thompson Street, and Cheever Court including property facing Jefferson Street to provide a large parking lot was purchased by the University and a demolition contract was awarded in October, 1938. The major contract covering architectural trades was awarded to Jerome A. Utley Company, of Detroit, and construction started in December, 1938. Other contracts were awarded to the R. L. Spitzley Company for heating, plumbing, and ventilating, the Central Electric Company for electrical work, and the Otis Elevator Company for elevators and dumb-waiters. In total these contracts amounted to $1,241,118.

West Quadrangle, as the building was named, was completed in record time. It was ready for occupancy at the beginning of the first semester of 1939-40 except for the dining area, which was completed and ready for use at the end of the fourth week of the semester. As all the room furniture had not been received, the residents had a difficult time on arrival. Lamps were several weeks late in arriving, and for a short period beds were made up on mattresses placed on the floor. In getting to the building post office and going to the Union, with which it is connected, students had to pick their way around tradesmen who were completing work in the dining area. It was all taken in good spirit even though, as the Director of Residence Halls stated in his annual report, "these unsettled conditions produced in many students the feeling that they were transients rather than permanent residents, and consequently some of them were restless, disturbed — and disturbing — during most of the University year."

West Quadrangle is of fireproof construction with a brick exterior and with limestone trim which blends with the exterior of the Michigan Union. It has an area of 264,663 square feet, excluding Allen-Rumsey House, and the completed cost as recorded in the Financial Statement for 1941 was $1,836,041, including equipment.

The building is an angular figure eight with two inner courts. The central part contains the dining area and separates the two courts with the main entrance on Thompson Street at one end and the entrance to the Union at the other. There are four dining rooms in the central part on two floors with the kitchen below them on the grade floor. Entrance to the south court is through a handsome wrought-iron gate named in honor of Regent James Murfin. The gate was a gift from various student organizations.

Space for 818 men in one hundred single rooms, 347 double rooms, and twelve two-room suites was provided in the completed structure, which with the inclusion of Allen-Rumsey House made a total of 932 residents. The new building was divided into seven houses, officially named as follows: the dormitory on the corner of Thompson and Madison Page  1710streets: Robert Mark Wenley House; the central dormitory on Thompson Street: Michigan House; the dormitory north of Michigan House: Henry Carter Adams House; the dormitory on the corner of Thompson and Jefferson streets: Chicago House; the northeast dormitory: Alfred Henry Lloyd House; the two eastern dormitories: Alexander Winchell House and George Palmer Williams House (R.P., 1936-39, p. 822).

Each house is set apart from the next by fire walls, so that there is no intercommunication between buildings except at the grade floor level. Each house has its own lounge, recreation room, study room, and suites for the resident adviser and associate adviser.

In 1952 the Donald Joel Brown Memorial Room, a beautiful library and music room in Lloyd House was dedicated by Mr. and Mrs. Meyer M. Brown as a memorial to their son, Donald Joel Brown, a freshman, who lost his life in an accident while returning to the University after the Easter holidays. Other public rooms include the Louis A. Strauss Memorial Library, which contains the library of the late Professor Louis A. Strauss, a radio station and studio, the West Quadrangle Council room, and a sending and receiving shortwave radio station.

House libraries were established in Wenley, Allen-Rumsey, Michigan, Winchell, and Adams houses through the contributions of the Elmira University of Michigan Club to a Residence Halls Library Fund. This project has received the highest commendation from the students and staff.

In 1953 permanent alterations were made to the building with the conversion of twenty-five single rooms to doubles, eighty-two double rooms to triple rooms, and arranging the suites for three instead of two students. With this expansion the total capacity of West Quadrangle, including Allen-Rumsey House, is 1,048. Henry W. deKoning Construction Company, of Ann Arbor, undertook the alterations at a cost of $40,884. Additional furnishings cost $17,225.

In the fall of 1954, with increasing enrollment, demands for housing for women made it necessary to use one of the houses of West Quadrangle for women. Chicago House was selected for its physical location with respect to the other houses and because the least number of returning residents would be effected. The women were well received by the male population, and before the year was out it became necessary for the girls to take turns in the four dining rooms. Late in the spring of 1955 it was decided that women would occupy Chicago House again for the first semester only of the coming school year. It was expected that the addition to Couzens Hall under construction would be ready for occupancy at the beginning of the second semester and that the girls in Chicago House would then be transferred back into women's housing.

Needless to say the moving of women into the sanctuaries of West Quadrangle men caused some consternation in the beginning. The University of Chicago alumni, who in preceding years had pledged themselves to contribute toward the cost of this unit, were considerably disturbed, for their goal had been to place young men from Chicago in this house. After considerable correspondence, long distance calls, and a visit with those most interested in Chicago by the Dean of Students and the Manager of Service Enterprises their whole-hearted co-operation was obtained. It was pointed out to them that this move was only temporary and that Chicago House would again house men as soon as the Couzens Hall addition was completed. Over a period of a few years the Chicago University of Michigan Dormitory Fund Page  1711accumulated $28,636 for the express purpose of aiding in the cost of construction of Chicago House, and it was named in recognition and acknowledgment of their contributions.

West Quadrangle, as did all men's residence halls, played an important part in the war effort. Late in the spring of 1942 a contract was negotiated with the federal government for quartering the Advance R.O.T.C. in Allen-Rumsey House. In the meantime another contract for West Quadrangle facilities was negotiated with the Navy Department, and 1,300 Navy enlistees moved in during the first week of July. The Navy continued its contract for the complete use of the facilities until the fall term of 1944, when two of the houses were returned to the University for civilian use. In January another house was allocated to civilians, and on March 1 two additional houses were vacated by the Navy. The contract was terminated on June 30, 1946, and West Quadrangle again became a residence hall for civilians in its entirety.