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Old Posted Mar 23, 2017, 9:21 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: West Michigan
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WMU East Campus pulled from National Register of Historic Places

WMU East Campus pulled from National Register of Historic Places

An interesting article was just released regarding the recent demolition (decimation?) that took place on Prospect Hill, the home of the original campus of Western Michigan University. Originally known as the Western State Normal School. In 2013 - 2014, three historic buildings were demolished (North Hall, West Hall, and the Speech & Hearing Building) and another was greatly altered (East Hall) to prepare for the creation of a new Alumni Center, which opened in 2015 in the remains of East Hall, and which is now referred to as Heritage Hall.

Quote:
WMU East Campus pulled from National Register of Historic Places
By Malachi Barrett, via MLive
March 22, 2017

KALAMAZOO, MI -- What was once called the "Acropolis of Kalamazoo" is no longer deemed worthy of historic recognition after renovations to Western Michigan University's East Campus. East Hall, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and Western State Normal School Historic District, added in 1990, were stripped of their historic status by the National Park Service, effective March 7.

....
The project was controversial when it happened, and now, the NPS has revoked National Register status for the University's East Campus. This marks the first time ever in the history of the State Historic Preservation Review Board that a physical site visit was conducted by SHPRB to determine whether or not a listed property / area should remain listed after alterations were made. It seems like a blow, but the University's reaction to the news seemed rather nonchalant.

Images below are courtesy of WMU Archives and Regional History Collection, via MLive, unless noted otherwise. The article follows after the images.

East Hall, shortly after it opened in 1905:


East Hall, after the north and south wings were added, in 1908 and 1909:


The WMU Inclined Trolley, to access Prospect Hill from below (I had no idea until now that Kalamazoo had its own incline of sorts, at one time):


Two aerial views of Prospect Hill, showing the early WMU campus:




A similar aerial view from the recent past, when demolition was complete. The partially-demolished East Hall stands alone in the middle of the cleared area:

Image Source: Google Maps

WMU West Hall Demolition, June 2013:

Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

WMU Speech and Hearing Building Demolition, July 2013:

Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

WMU East Hall Demolition of South Wing, July 2014:



Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

Protester's graffiti at the construction site, in September 2014:

Image Source: Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette, file

Heritage Hall Alumni Center / Former East Hall as it looks today:

Image Source: Tower Pinkster


Read the Full Article, and see some pretty great historic photos, here.

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 9, 2017 at 11:30 PM.
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