The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 9, 1982--Page 5-8
nion rediscovers itself in renovations
Walls pop up; planners ad just
By CHARLES THOMSON
The wall wasn't in the drawings; it
wasn't supposed to exist.
But there it was: Tons of mortar and
brick smack-dab where the front
display window for a new shop was to
ve been. And the wall wasn't about to
ove-it supported the mammoth
fireplace in the Union's study lounge.
Without it, presumably, the fireplace
and a healthy portion of the Union
would tumble into the basement.
IT'S BEEN like that all summer for
the architects and planners working-on
the- $4.6 million Michigan Union
renovation project. The rambling old
building has had so many additions and
modifications in 75 years that no one is
ulte sure what's going on.
Workers even discovered the original
20-foot transom for the entrance to the
University Club-intact, but embedded
in the center of a wall.
For the most, part, planners are
trying to accommodate such idiosyn-
crasies into the designs for turning the
building into more of a campus student
THE RENOVATION program was
prompted by complaints that the
building had almost no attraction for
students. Many students said the
building's facilities were oriented
toward alumni and faculty and were
In the spirit of returning the Union to
its status of yesteryear as a major
student center, the planners would like
to preserve the building's old architec-
"It's been a challenge," admitted
Union Director Frank Cianciola, who
has been directing the renovation effor-
ts. "The 1916 building is architecturally
significant, and We're trying to preser-
ve as much of that as possible."
THE PLANS call for extensive
renovation of the first floor and for the
development of a shopping mall on the
ground floor. The ground floor com-
mercial area will include the space oc-
cupied until this spring by the Univer-
Cianciola said he has received 15 un-
solicited letters from firms and in-
dividuals seeking to rent retail space in
the Union, but that a decision on which
firms will be granted leases cannot be
made until the architect finishes
drawing the plans for the mall. He said
the plans should be finished during the
summer, but no construction dates
could be established.
He also said the plans for the mall-
including the specifications on what
types of merchants will be allowed to
rent space-will be studied to find out
"what will best serve the students."
SOME STUDENT leaders have
suggested, however, that the
renovation plans have not kept student
needs in mind, but were instead
designed to make as much money as
possible for the Union itself.
"Frankly, I'm worried about the
Union's plans in certain areas," said
Amy Moore, president of the Michigan
Student Assembly. "The U-Cellar
really is a thorn in my side. I know it
happened, but I can't understand why."
The U-Cellar, the University's
student-owned bookstore, pulled out of
the Union this spring after lease
negotiations with Cianciola collapsed.
Student leaders have said Cianciola
was too inflexible during the
negotiations and was insensitive to
student needs by allowing the student
book store to leave the Union.
BUT CIANCIOLA has said the
Cellar's departure from the Union was
a matter of economics. The Cellar was
not willing to make adequate
arrangements on the rent and the cost
of renovations, he said.
Some student leaders have also been
critical of rules instituted by the Union
which require all food served in the
building to be catered through the
Union's facilities. They say the expense
of the Union food service reduces
student use of its facilities.
Work on at least part of the project
has been behind schedule. The new
Campus Information Center desk was
finished and opened in July, about a
month later than originally scheduled.
EVEN IN THE AREAS where major renovations are not needed, such as in this part of the front lobby, workers do
same patching and painting to make the entire Union look like new.
Largest alunmi body has
ome names you'll know
By SCOTT STUCKAL
Qut of more than 250,000 living
University alumni (the largest alumni
body in the world), you're bound to
recognize at least a few names. Some
ever-y well-known people have walked
across the Diag over the years, well
efore they achieved national or inter-
Take the hard working student in the
early 1930's from Grand Rapids. He
graduated in 1935 after receiving All-
American status as the Wolverines' of-
fensive center. He juggled football and
school so well that he moved on to Yale
wbere he worked simultaneously as a
foptball coach and a law student.
EVENTUALLY GERALD Ford
moved on to bigger and better
ings-Congress, the presidency, and
condominium in Palm Springs, but he
never forgot the Maize and Blue. Today
Ford's presidential papers-as his un-
dergraduate essays once did-have
found a home at the University. The
Girald Ford library on North Campus
hduses an extensive collection of
ddcuments from Ford's career.
But not all of the University's best-
known graduates have shown them-
eves in the spotlight of world-wide at-
etion like Ford.
Raoul Wallenberg, who graduated
from the School of Architecture in 1935,
chtose to serve his fellow man in a dif-
?uring World War II, Wallenberg, a
Swedish Christian, is said to have saved
more than 25,000 Hungarian Jews from
Nazi gas chambers by issuing "protec-
tiye passes" of his own design. These
passes allowed the Jews to enter the
edtral country of Sweden to escape the
WALLENBERG never received
the attention he deserved for
laying his life on the line every day
for: strangers. In 1945 when the
Rusians liberated the Nazi-occupied
city of Budapest, Hungary, Wallenberg
was whisked away in a big, black car
towards the temporary headquarters of
thpRussian secret police.
According to the Soviets, Wallenberg
ligl in Lubianka prison in 1947. But
... one of many 'U' actors
... turned in all his papers
ot , ., +'
, ,, ''
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