Monday, February 4, 2013

Walking Around Michigan's North Campus

I guess this was my weekend to catch up on projects I've been meaning to do but haven't for other reasons.  I've been meaning to work my way up to the University of Michigan's North Campus for a while but never really got around to it.  There are a few reasons for this but I think the main reason is that I never thought the buildings up there were as interesting as the buildings on the main campus.  I mean it is kind of hard to compete with an Oxford looking building with gargoyles that are old professors and university presidents.

As it was, I probably picked one of the worst days to go up there.  It was cold and snowy but I figured since I was up there, I would soldier on and do my pictures.

The idea for North Campus started in 1952 when the University bought a large plot of farmland to the north of the main campus.  The idea was put on paper in the 1950's by Eero Saarinen who was an architect based in Birmingham, MI.  Eero came to the United States when he was 13 after his father emigrated from Finland.  They settled in Bloomfield Hills, MI where his father was a teacher at the Cranbrook Academy for the Arts and he took courses in sculpture and furniture design there.  In 1929, he studied sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and then finished his studies at the Yale School of Architecture.  After touring Europe and Africa, he came back to Cranbrook to work for his dad and teach there.  After his father's death in 1950, he started his own architecture firm.  He died in 1961 of a brain tumor.
 The first building I came across was the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Biomedical Engineering building.  This building was completed in 2006.  It was designed with an open floor plan to foster collaboration amongst the researchers there.
 The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is housed on North Campus as well.  This is the only Presidential Library that is separate from the musuem.  His museum is located in Grand Rapids and is actually pretty interesting to visit.  While he was a Congressman, Ford donated many of his papers to the Bentley Library which is also on North Campus.  As his presidency neared its end, he donated his Presidential papers to the University to be housed in a building to be named later.  This building was dedicated in 1981.
There are many different sculptures on North Campus.
 The tall building in the back is the Engineering Research building.
 Looking up at that building.
 North Campus offers a very good vantage point for seeing the whole University of Michigan Hospital complex.  The Medical School was established in 1850 and the University Hospital (which was the first University owned hospital in the country) was built in 1869.  The current hospital was opened in 1986 and has been exanding ever since.  The newest addition which is on the left hand side of this picture is the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital which was opened in 2011.
 North Campus is also a good vantage point for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor.  It was established in 1953 and serves veterans in southern Michigan and northern Ohio.  While not quite as sprawling as the University Hospital, it is pretty big.
 While the building itself is nothing to write home about, this sculpture is pretty cool.  It stands outside of the Taubman School of Architecture.   The architecture program was established at the University in 1876 but wasn't formalized until 1906 under Emil Lorch.  The School moved here in the 50's(?).
 In 1999, it was named after Taubman after he gave a fairly large sum of money to the University.
 A sculpture dedicated to Roaul Wallenberg.  He was a Swedish Architect that was instrumental in getting many Jews out of Eastern Europe.  He apparently was killed by the Soviets in 1947.  In 2012, he was given a Congressional Gold Medal for his actions in regards to Jews.
 Not sure what this sculpture is but I kind of liked the looks.  This was probably the best angle
 And of course, a wolverine statue.
 Another angle of the Wolverine statue.
 The Duderstadt Center.  James Duderstadt was a long time President of the University of Michigan.  He was also a professor of nuclear engineering there.  He is currently a Professor Emeritus.
 I believe this is the Computer Science and Engineering Building.
 The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building.
 Another sculpture.
 There are some things on this campus that tie into the main campus.  I've seen this symbol on the Engineering Arch at the Southeast Corner of the Diag on the main campus.  This almost reminds me of that.

A sculpture known as the "Bent", it is the symbol of Tau Beta Pi, which is an Engineering Honors Society.  This is the same symbol that is on the above arch.  Thank you to one of my readers for that information.
 Standing outside of the Computer Science Building is a sculpture of Claude Shannon.  He is known as the father of information theory.  He was born in Petoskey, Michigan and spent his early years in Gaylord.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with two bachelor degrees.  One in mathematics and the other in electrical engineering.  He also studied at M.I.T.   He authored a number of theories.
 Another view of the wolverine.
 I believe this is a fountain in warmer months which means I'll have to come back.
And one last view before leaving.

1 comment:

Douglas Rigterink said...

That isn't the school of information north building. That building is to the left of the one you took the picture of. The building with the garage door in it is the Gerstacker Building and the tall building behind it is the Engineering Research Building.

The school of information north building does not house the school of information anymore, they have moved down to North Quad on central campus.