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January 13, 1965 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1965-01-13

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complex around State and Hill and the gap between Martha Cook
and the present Architecture and Design Bldg.;
-An entertainment area north of the 40 acres focusing on Hill
Aud. and the Michigan League, presenting open space in the mall
leading to Rackham and park areas on either side of that graduate
school structure: and
-A special area southwest of Central Campus which would be
opened up by the plaza behind the two administration buildings
and SAB and by a plaza-housing complex between Packard, Divi-
sion and Jefferson Streets.
Library Complex
At the center, of course, the 40-acre square would contain the
library complex fronted by a huge campus green that would roll in
a semicircle from the northwest to northeast corners of the 40
acres. Among the buildings which are being considered for razing
are the gymnasiums, North Hall and the Museums Annex struc-
tures. However, no final decisions on these structures-located
in the northeast part of the campus- have been reached.
The dominant mae of the future campus, the plan declares, is
the academic avenue, first cousin of the Diag. Specifically, it advo-
cates the development of three "broadly conceived walkways:" a
northwest/southwest diagonal from the Rackham Bldg. mall
through the SouthUniversity shopping center; an east/west route
from Thompson St. on the west to Church St. on the east and a
northeast/southwest diagonal from the Mdica Center to the inter-
section of Packard and Hill. These three walkways would intersect
at a slightly shifted focal point for the campus: the library com-
plex and academic facilities between East University and the Gen-
eral Library.
These walkways would also organize the five sub-campus zones,
since they would- pass through the center of each of them.
But the thrust of the campus plan is much greater and its goals
much headier than merely the attempt to organize the campus into
a center surrounded by sub-zones.
It seeks to return the campus to the pedestrian. By proposing
the closing of such streets as North and East University where they
will interrupt the malls and walkways, It proposes to make walking
an esthetic experience by arching buildings and interspersing open
spaces and plazas over and around the walkways.
Traffic would mole in a ring system primarily around Forest,
Huron, Division and Packard Streets, depositing cars in a ring
system of parking structures.
But in the tradition of the conceptual planner, the central cam-
pus study is only a guide and as such it is open to plenty of specific
deviations. Already, the process of translating the ideas into reality
indicates there will be plenty of details to be worked out.
Dental School
In plotting the dental school development, the Central Campus
plan was geared to the assumption that additional facilities would
be built around the existing 1908 structure and 1923 addition.
More recent studies advised their demolition, necessitating a
re-designing of the new facilities. But despite this deviation, Mc-
Kevitt notes that "the school will be substantially in the same lo-
cation" and bear approximately the same relationship to the park-
ing lot planned behind it as foreseen by the Central Campus study.
"Despite the change in design, the projects concept is con-
sistent with the campus plan. The plan study was not to provide
specifies of building architecture. It was to provide a sense of
order through group composition and scale and other space
relationships," McKevitt adds.
As John Telfer of the architect's office says, the study
"is still a very effective tool in working with small areas" because
it provides a general context for development.
This franiework is seen as significant because so many hands
are involved in the planning process. All projects, of course, are
authorized ultimately by the Regents and they keep close tabs
on the work of the planners. But nearly all segments of the
University community take some credit for a completed structure.
Faculty members participate by helping plan the content
of a structure when it involves their school or department.
Special faculty building committees work in all phases of a
structure's development, participating in such decisions as select-
ing the site. And major faculty committees, such as the Uni-
versity Senate's committee on campus planning and development,
advise the vice-president for business and finance on the overall
planning operation.
To the administration falls the task of coordinating the various
planning efforts. This involves meshing long-range objectives
with specific projects. It also entails working with the University's
many professional consultants and city planners.
The University planning process culminates in scheduled
meetings of the University Committee on Plant Extension which
is responsible for assembling and considering all physical plant
needs and extensions and making recommendations to the Regents
for extensions.
The committee includes the President, executive vice-presi-
dent, vice-president for business and finance, vice-president for
academic affairs, vice-president for University relations, and the
secretary of the University.
The many campus planners make it commonplace that as
specific areas of the central campus plan are filled in with
buildings and walkways, modifications will be made.
But where deviations are said to be "built into" the central
plan study, other less-controllable factors will also tend to change
the construction from the original plan,
City Influence
The first of these factors is the city.
The University and Ann Arbor have maintained good relations
since the school's arrival here in 1837. Officials say that seldom

have relations between the two been so cordial as today.
Both city and institution hired noted architectural and plan-
ning firms to analyze the compatibilities of Ann Arbor's thorough-
fare program and the Central Campus study. Their report, recent-
ly accepted with minor changes by the City Planning Commission,
declares that "in general, the proposed Central Campus plan has
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1943: PLAN
The World War II and post-war periods witnessed the beginning of the planning revolution, in which
architects began to view their development conceptually rather than specifically: watching relation-
ships between open space and density, seeking to organize patterns and noting the possibilities of central
campus as an organic whole. This 1943 plant department plan proposes additions to Angell Hall and the
General Library and wants the northeast corner of the square developed with concern for the harmonious
combination of buildings, walkways and open space.


The campus mall is at last evident in this plant department diagram of the campus in 1948. But the
northeast corner of the square has not developed as conceived by the 1943 plan, nor does the proliferation
of graduate schools south of South University Avenue express any organized trend. The bunchings of
buildings around the south, southwest, and northeast portions of the square indicate the possibilities
which current planners are investigating, of organizing them as formal clusters around the square. Cur-
rent planners are investigating this idea.

been well-conceived and acknowledges the basic principles of good
planning for a major campus and for service of traffic-both ve-
hicular and pedestrian." The report continues on to commend both
the circular traffic flow idea expressed in the campus study and to
praise the planned parking facilities.
However, both the report and city officials caution that the
closing of such streets as East University between North and South
University; North University between Thayer and Fletcher in order
to create pedestrian way does have disadvantages.
As a member of the city planning commission points out, the
elimination of these streets to vehicle traffic reduces the general
circulation, closes up entrances to the campus for fire and emer-
gency vehicles and poses the costly prospect of re-routing utility
services. He stresses that each street closing will be evaluated care-
fully by city planners and the City Council before permission is
A second major factor is the question of finding financial sup-
port to build what is planned.
The University recently shipped to Lansing a massive $100 mil-

lion request to cover building for the next five years. At current
levels of state support, the University would barely get one-fourth
that amount in the next five years. And since the figures are re-
evaluated each year, by that time $100 million may be a paltry
An encouraging recent development is the entrance of the
federal government into the higher education construction field. A
state commission will disperse $10 million this year of federal
funds for undergraduate buildings and the government is dispens-
ing large sums directly for graduate facilities.
The private donor money, which has built the Law School and
Rackham among others, looms more important in the years ahead.
With this in mind, the University has launched a $55 million fund
drive which has already netted it a children's hospital (from the
Charles Stewart Mott foundation). A number of additions and re-
modelling projects hinge upon the private support which can be
Uncertainty Helps
While officials are distressed about the shortage of building
funds, they confess planning thrives amid uncertainty.

In 1838 the Regents hired two'architects by mistade to do the
same job. The whole history of physical development here is filled
with stories of reversed decisions. Plans for Bursley Hall, a large
residence unit, were tabled in the early fifties then dusted off this
year in a move to ease overcrowding. And the ,University Terrace
apartments, constructed for graduates in the post-war era, may be
demolished to clear the way for Medical Center development.
Prof. Kelly points out that if anyone had suspected 100 years
ago what the current shape of the campus is now, the University
might well have secured and hoarded all possible land around
Central Campus, eliminating the need for a distant North Campus
-the earliest point where land is available.
But to have known today's campus 100 years ago would be
strictly against the rules of planning-where there are no rules, no
absolutes, no certainties until the building stands or the street is
By the same token, the graduate of today cannot foresee in
every detail the campus to which he may someday return. But
planners here, while they decline to promise this walkway or that
building, have faith that their concepts will harness and improve
the campus elements which history has left.

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