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October 22, 1978 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1978-10-22
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Page 4-Sunday, October 22, 1978-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily-Sunday;


breaking plans.

for future cam

Engineering School to head up North;
Central Campus holds its ground

orty acres of level farm land and peach
orchards seemed to be a better site for a
university in 1837 than forty acres
overlooking the Huron River. And so, the first
plans for the University were altered and
since then many more plans have been made
and abandoned.
The process of creating a campus was
complex even in 1837. Architects and an
administrative site selection committee
squabbled over possible tracts of land before
agreeing to build their university in the area
surrounding the present-day Diag. Since then
architects, administrators and construction
crews have been called in repeatedly to build,
and raze buildings as the needs of the
institution and those of the university
community have changed.
And today's University administrators also
have plans for the future of the campus. In
m,< w1963, University administrators
commissioned a planning study to suggest
tentative physical changes for the campus
and that study is still being used by
University planners as a framework for
campus development. Some of the
recommendations of the 1963 study have been
followed in detail while others have been set
aside indefinitely.
"The plan is still a very good one," says
University Planner Fredrick Mayer. "It's
good if you realize that it's meant only as a
framework-something we can look to to
make decisions on a continuing basis."
Of course, plans do change. But if rising
inflation rates continue to make the state
legislature stingy with its funding for capital
expansion at the University, and if the
predicted drop in enrollment occurs, there
will not be many new buildings around in 1990
and most of the old ones will still be standing.
University administrators and planners
agree that construction on campus in the
* immediate future, except for minor
exceptions, will concentrate on the
rennovation of existing buildings rather than
demolition and new construction.
Central Campusfacesfew changes through the turn of the century. Above,
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. Below, Waterman-Barbour Gym in the Gregg Krupa is co-editor of the Daily.
process of demolition. Daily photos by Wayne Cable

By Gregg Krupa,

But there are'exceptions to this general
rule. By 1985, the Engineering School will
have abandoned its corner of the Diag and
will be firmly established on North Campus in
three buildings which are yet to be
constructed. It is also probable that the
Chemistry building will have a new wing that
will stand on the open area to the east of the
present structure, where Waterman-Barbour
Gym once stood. The only other change in the
physical layout of the campus currently being
considered is an expansion of Tappan Hall
which houses the History of Art Department.
But according to Mayer, rennovation of
existing buildings is far more feasible than
new construction.
"Basically you eventually find that you can
usually accomplish your construction goals
and do the job with less money by rennovating
rather than starting from the ground up and
constructing entirely new buildings," he says.
Mayer adds that another reason for the lag
in proposed construction is the University's
interest in preserving the historical buildings
on campus. However, administrators and
Regents raised considerable objections to
legislation making the campus a historic
landmark protected by state law. The
proposal was adopted last summer and was
criticized by administrators because the
statute limits the administration's power to
design the physical campus.
The University campus does in fact have a
rich historical tradition. Over the years the
University was able to attract some of
America's best-known architects to design
campus buildings. Foremost among these is
Albert Kahn, the industrial architect who
designed several General Motors Corporation
factories as well as the -Ford Rouge plant.

Kahn's architecture, as a result of this
manufacturing methodology, combines the
uncluttered appearance of exaggerated open
spaces and natural light.
According to Mayer, most of the buildings
constructed on campus between 1920 and 1930
were designed by Kahn. These include Hill
Auditorium, 1913; Angell Hall, 1924; C. C.
Little Science Building, 1925; the Clements
Library, 1923; and the Alexander Ruthven
Museums, 1928.
But even the University's best laid plans
are subject to change. Originally, the
University was to be situated on the Huron
River close to the spot where the present
Medical Center is located. Those early
administrators, however, opted for the 40
acre site extending from North University to
South University, between State St. and East
University. And the campus grew within
those perimeters until the Observatory was
constructed in 1854.
And in the years to follow University
building began to spread out from that central
point. By the 1920s, the athletic and medical
campuses had begun to develop as well as the
diagonal walkways across the original 40
acres. At the end of that decade the Michigan
Union, East Engineering, and the
Architecture Building stood as signs of the,
growing academic community.'
Snce then the campus has continued to ex-
pand and borders betveen the city of Ann
Arbor and the University have faded.
Eventually, the University crossedthedHuron
river to North Campus.
The 100-page booklet which outlines the
results of the 1963 study documents nearly
every conceivable aspect of campus planning
from "community considerations" to "major
approach routes." But many of the proposed

changes have not, and likely will never, come
According to the grandiose plans of 1963,
the area stretching from the Rackham
Building to the Diag and from Hill Auditorium
to the Michigan League was to be closed off to
traffic and transformed into a grassy,
pedestrian mall.
The southeast corner of the Diag was also to
have undergone a drastic change. West
Engineering and the Randall Physics
Laboratory were to have been demolished
and a cluster of office and classroom
buildings erected on the site.
But 1963 was a long time ago and the
economy of the state and the nation was much
healthier then. There was more money to
spend on higher education and no one was
predicting the drastic decline in the number
of college students demographers now predict
for the next decade.
"Our view of enrollment today is quite
different than what it was in 1963," says
Mayer, "back then, we, and a lot of other
people were talking about enrollments of
staggering size. There was one projection I
recall being thrown around at Michigan State
University talking about 60,000 students on
that campus in the 1970s."
University planners, however, have not
been sitting idle. Currently. there areat least
nine renovation programs planned for which
the University has filed capital outlay
requests with the state. These include
renovations to the heating plant, and an
addition to Tappan Hall and some remodeling
on the inside of that building. The basement of
the Pharmacy Building is scheduled to be
remodeled and an addition to the School of
Natural Resources is planned which will
change the appearance of the building's
inside court. That plan, however, has been
pending in Lansing since 1973.
When a large segment of the University
community was in an uproar over the
destruction of Waterman-Barbour,
administrators claimed the gym was
an inefficient use of space, and promised a
new, badly-needed addition to the chemistry
See,CAMPUS, Page 8

Top, West Engineering. Center, Tappan Hall,
Below, the Chemistry Building, which will recej

Tis s scionofa a SiD $WSEncued i.te entaHImpsIPanprpard EohsonT ohsn soyi
1963 Tha ectaposowsathepiag.uMisingheonrtionmps oflathereaednot'vho nonsaeoowrCntRoyand
the present A diinist ration Building.

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