Page 8-Saturday, May 20, 1978--The Michigan Daily
The LSA building, the first new building to appear on
campus since the Second World War, was completed in
1949. The structure, designed by Harley Ellington, served
as the University's administration building for twenty
years, until it was embraced entirely by the Literary
This huge expanse of orange brick, with its vertical and
horizontal stripes of windows, has been described by Ar-
chitecture Professor Glen Paulsen as "hideous." Paulsen
explains that the building is "one of the early attempts at
This attempt apparently did not meet with much suc-
cess. The bright orange color, which is the first thing that
hits people when they look at the building and the thing that
causes them to look promptly away, is due to the postwar
shortage of the traditional campus red brick.
The relief sculptures, however, depicting cumulo-
nimbus mammalian and reptilian forms, have no ready ex-
cuse. These splotches of sculpture insist upon dotting the in-
tervals between a vertical series of windows on the State
"From 1948-53 was a very awkward period in architec
ture," said Korman, explaining that many architects at
that time were trying to come to grips with the changing
styles, and find a transition into modern architecture.
"The LSA Building reflects a sort of conservative, ten-
tative modern which gave way to a later modern," said
Marzolf. 'I was a student of architecture at the time those
buildings were being built, and they were considered very
'It was a change from the historical styles," said Mar-
zolf, referring to the Art Museum across the street from the
See LSA, Page 11
Alumni Memorial Hall
The Art Museum, also known as Alumni Memorial Hall, the Union.
was conceived, not too surprisingly, by the Alumni Associa- Architecture professor Glen Paulsen says he does not
tion as memorial, at the end of the civil war, "to com- feel the building "was particularly appropriate to its
memorate not only those students and faculty who have par- (original) use. The scale is much more compatible with a
ticipated in past wars, but also those who might serve in museum ... a public space," continues Paulsen.
future wars." The structure, says Paulsen, is "characteristic of an era
The plan was not implemented until the early twentieth when neo-classical architecture was commonplace."
century, at which time the students, who were rooting for Marzolf calls the style, which employs classical elemen-
the construction of a student union, loudly protested the ap- ts of architecture but does not copy classical buildings
proval of the memorial, labeling it "The Mausoleum." "academic classicism." The classical style was a source of
inspiration for architects during the period of the 1890s-
The memorial was completed nonetheless; the tab, in- 1930s, and was used in numerous public buildings, such as
cluding furnishings, came to $195,885.29. The furnishings city halls and art galleries.
were for the offices and social gathering rooms of the The lines of the Alumni Memorial Hall are clean and
Alumni Association, and the University Club, which was simple, sporting two sets of twin columns in the front, and
then housed in the basement, some engaged, rectangular columns around the sides. The
A few museum pieces were exhibited in the Hall, but the few windows are expansive, unbroken panes of tinted
museum did not acquire full use of the building until 1946, glass, adding to the rather austere clarity and simplicity of
when the 'U' Club and the Alumni Association had moved to the structure.
The present Administration Building, designed by Alden
Dow, was constructed in 1967. Its boxlike reddish-brown
brick body is held aloft by a one-story pedestal.
Two mousehole-shaped entrances penetrate the base,
but they lead only into a long, narrow hallway. The building
has surprisingly few windows for its size, and what win-
dows there are are mere slits of glass turned either ver-
tically or horizontally, seemingly at whim.
"It's sort of functionalism turned around," said Marzolf.
The theory behind functionalism is that the design of the
building will reflect the workings of it. With the Ad-
ministration Building, said Marzolf, the architect used an
"exterior artistic approach and let the inside follow."
"The windows don't function the least bit functionally,"
said Marzolf, explaining that the placement of the windows
inside the Administration Building's rooms is often awk-
According to Marzolf, the window designs on the facades
was inspired by the paintings of the Dutch artist Piet Mon-
drian, who uses repeating rectangular shapes in his works.
"I see the Administration Building as being covered with
Mondrians on all four sides," chuckled Marzolf.
There are theories tossed about as to why the Ad-
ministration Building is raised off the ground and why the
windows are so small and impractical.
RP i Pa
By Elisa Isaacso
T ONE TIME the University of Michigan exis
acres of wheat fields, pastures and peach ord
Ann Arbor, then with a population of 2000, a spunky h
boasting two bands, two newspapers, four churche
eight mills and factories, nine doctors, eleven lawyer
seventeen dry goods stores, had offered the ci
teristically pancake-flat piece of property as a site-
University. The land was approved by the state legisi
after two days of consideration, selected over si
Detroit, Marshall and Monroe, and the University be
illustrious academic and architectural career.
Erected on what is now the Diag were a dor
classroom and four houses for professors. So, in the
1841, right on schedule, classes began, two professor
parting their knowledge to all of seven students, e
whom had paid his tuition fee of a whopping $10.
From then on, the University expanded in every1
could-up, out, in size, in enrollment, in tuition..
campus outgrew its 40 acres, and spread in all direc
especially northward, thus leading to the creation of
NEW BUILDINGS were constructed, old buildings
demolished, some buildings were added to, some bil
were converted to different uses. Definite trends in d
began to establish themselves, and many of these has
fluenced even the most recent campus constructions.
The system of diagonal walkways so characteristic
University's design was created when the constructi
the old medical and law schools necessitated an acros
campus pedestrian circulation system.
This diagonal pattern was echoed in the present
Quadrangle, on the patch of grass behind the
Building, in the Regents' Plaza and even in some
Getting someplace and getting there quickly is ver
portant on a campus, as everybody involved with on
attest. "A diagonal is the shortest distance between
points," explains Assistant University Planner Ken
Art and A
A product of the 70s, the Art and Architecture buil
seems to have made the final architecture leap into ma
nity, and done it gracefully. The building, designed
Swanson and Associates, straddles a gently sloping
conforming, in somewhat the same way as does
Economics Building, to its environment by blending.
The building is low in comparison to its vast expat
and it sprawls itself out across the grassy North Cam
lawn. The construction materials are glass and brick,
though there might be some experimenting with si
novelties as rusting iron, the effort comes off looking fa
The rust of the Art School meets, blends, and in
changes with the sand-colored brick and smoked glao
the Architecture wings. The division of materials is V
simple. There is a low-hanging belt of continuous wind
along the facade of the Art School, which is otherwise
rust. The front facade of the Architecture School is as
solid glass, except for a knee-sock high band of brick run
along the bottom.
The wall of smoked glass in front presents a probl
however, as it is nearly transparent and at night alt
totally so, making the building look like a cross-sec
diagram of Santa's factory.
According to i
,olf agrees that
ds that the extr