Detroit Observatory, 1858


Detroit Observatory, 1858

Completed in 1854 on a hill northeast of campus, the Detroit observatory demonstrated president Tappan's commitment to practical scientific education. Detroit businessmen, eager for an accurate timekeeping service, provided funding. director Franz Brunnow was UM's first ph.d. professor and became Tappan's son-in-law. the observatory, stripped of later additions and restored, with its two original telescopes, reopened as a museum in 1999.

Frame location: West side of State Street north of the walk on the north side of the Michigan Union, facing east

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Ann Arbor District Library



Untitled


Untitled
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Ann Arbor District Library



Joseph C. Watts House, built in 1858


Joseph C. Watts House, built in 1858

In 1858 Main Street jeweler Joseph C. Watts built his large brick home on the northeast corner of Liberty and Division within easy walking distance of his Main Street shop. Multiple fireplaces, a roof-top widow’s walk, and ornate trim in the fashionable Italianate style proclaimed his success. The earliest settlers and most prominent citizens built their houses near the center of town. At first, crude, dirt-floored log cabins were clustered near Huron and Main. Single-family frame, brick, and stucco dwellings rapidly spread east to what after 1837 became the University of Michigan campus. On the opposite corner to your right stands druggist Emanuel Mann’s 1850 house of brick covered with stucco scored to resemble stone. This style was so popular that Ann Arbor was referred to as "the little stucco village." In 1829 Mann's parents had been the first German family to settle in Ann Arbor. Next to the park is the 1853 Greek Revival home of Henry Dewitt Bennett, local postmaster and later secretary of the University. In 1970 the house became a city-owned museum honoring Reuben and Pauline Kempf. They bought the home in 1890 and taught piano and voice in the parlor for more than fifty years. The town’s major churches were also part of the neighborhood. University students rented rooms and took meals in nearby homes. The neighborhood remained residential until after World War II, when its prime location between Main Street and campus led to its transformation to commercial uses.

Frame location: South side of Liberty opposite park entrance, facing northeast corner of Liberty and Division

Collection info: Ann Arbor News

This image may be protected by copyright law. Contact the Bentley Historical Library for permission to reproduce, display or transmit this image. Repository: Bentley Historical Library

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Firemen's Hall, 1882


Firemen's Hall, 1882

219 East Huron Street

Firemen's Hall, 1882
Hands-on Museum, 1979

Creator: Scott, William

For more than ninety years Ann Arbor's elegant, multi-arched firehouse has borne witness to the civic pride of our forebears. Built in 1882-83, the fire-house was designed by the Detroit architect William Scott. Under the watchful eye of the Council and its building committee, the new firehouse was completed by contractors Tessmer and Ross of Ann Arbor, at almost the exact cost authorized by the voters: $10,000. The building is constructed largely of brick, some of which is projected so as to form arches or rows of corbeling. For many years the building was painted red with much of the decorative brick work painted white to suggest stone. This was a common method of emphasizing high-style features when builders were faced with a shortage of stone or of funds. In the late 1970s, the paint was removed to reveal the soft tones of the original brick as well as the delicacy of the original stone detailing.

When the new fire station was erected in the 1970's, the people of Ann Arbor were determined to save their beloved landmark. Cynthia Yao proposed to City Council in 1978 that the building be converted to a special kind of museum for children, dedicated to education through a hands-on approach to the sciences. In 1979 permission for this use was conditioned on raising funds for the renovation. Due to the inspiration of Cynthia Yao and the financial and technical support of many towns-people, it is now the successful Hands-On Museum.

The City of Ann Arbor has restored the exterior of the building with little change. A weather vane, typical for fire houses in the 19th century, has been added to the tower. The interior has been rehabilitated in two stages to house the museum exhibits. The old firehouse kitchen was converted to a "discovery room" and a greenhouse has been added on the west side.

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Photos used to illustrate Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan / by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg.



Kellogg-Warden House, 1835-1839


Kellogg-Warden House, 1835-1839

500 North Main Street

Kellogg-Warden House, 1835-1839
Museum on Main Street

The building that now houses the Washtenaw County Historical Society's Museum on Main Street (MOMs) was once a private residence on Wall Street, in the section of Ann Arbor across the Huron River known as "Lower Town." It is a rare survivor of the first decades of life in Ann Arbor.

The house exhibits interesting construction features that disappeared from use shortly after the 1830s including the accordion or split lathe backing for the plaster walls, very wide plank floors, and brick "nogging" in the walls???_an early form of insulation. Fancy detailing on the exterior includes the front entrance, which is a complex unit of sidelights and transom, and the returns on the side gables. Channel and corner block trim grace the front parlor and the beautiful curving staircase in the front hallway is reminiscent of New England. A small ivory knob on top of the newel post, called an "amity button" or "mortgage button," was an indication that the house was free and clear of debt.

The house was built by members of the Kellogg and Ethan Warden families (Warden's wife was a Kellogg), pioneers from Cayuga County, New York. The house was constructed in various stages in the 1830s, the last being in 1839 when the patriarch of the family, the Honorable Charles Kellogg, moved to Ann Arbor. The Kelloggs had been millers and merchants in New York and ran similar businesses here.

The Kelloggs did not "strike it rich" and only one member of the family remained in Ann Arbor (the others either died here or went back to New York). The house stood empty after Charles' death in 1843 until the Ruthruff family purchased it in 1853 and occupied it for three decades. In the 1890s it became the property of Charles Greiner, a gardener, whose descendants remained in the house for nearly a century. In 1989 the Washtenaw County Historical Society intervened to save the house from demolition, and moved it to its present site. The City of Ann Arbor provided the land for the new location while the University of Michigan donated the building and some funds for moving it.

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Photos used to illustrate Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan / by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg.



Argoflex Seventy-Five (75) Cameras in an Argus Museum Exhibit


Argoflex Seventy-Five (75) Cameras in an Argus Museum Exhibit

Argoflex Seventy-Five (75) cameras

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Ann Arbor District Library



Argus C3 rangefinder camera in an Argus Museum Exhibit


Argus C3 rangefinder camera in an Argus Museum Exhibit

Argus C3 rangefinder camera

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Ann Arbor District Library



Argus a-four (A4) camera in an Argus Museum Exhibit


Argus a-four (A4) camera in an Argus Museum Exhibit

Argus a-four (A4) camera

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Ann Arbor District Library



Argus A-series Camera with Ilex Precise Shutter in an Argus Museum Exhibit


Argus A-series Camera with Ilex Precise Shutter in an Argus Museum Exhibit

Argus A- series camera with Ilex Precise Shutter

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Ann Arbor District Library



An Argus Camera in an Argus Museum Exhibit


An  Argus Camera in an Argus Museum Exhibit
Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library



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