Fire destroys Delta Upsilon fraternity

Delta UpsilonDelta Upsilon

A Friday morning fire raced through the historic Delta Upsilon fraternity at 1331 Hill St. Read the story on mlive. The fraternity was designed in 1903 and restored more recently by U of M alumni who valued the house and its history. You can read about the building in Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, MI, by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg, and zoom in for a closer view through its accompanying image database. (The text and images are available to search and browse online; the book is also available for checkout.)

Historic buildings on the go

Raeder CenterRaeder Center

A stroll through the Arboretum's lovely Peony Garden (which should bloom within the next couple weeks), will take you past the Reader Center on Washington Heights, formerly the Nathan Burnham house, built in 1837 and previously located at 947 Wall Street/940 Maiden Lane. More information on historic buildings around town (including another house that's moved from one location to another) can be found among the 200 images in AADL's Ann Arbor Architecture Archive. The archive includes text from the book Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, MI, which is also available to check out or browse online.

Stunning, sharp view of Lower Town

lower town
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Stunning, sharp view of Lower Town from across the river shows flooding in slaughterhouse area. Date unknown. From the Burton Historical collection.

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

New old photo of Winchell octagon turns up.

Octagan house
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University of Michigan Professor Alexander Winchell's octagon house in Ann Arbor, 1904-06, built on the site where Hill Auditorium was later erected. From Early Detroit Images from the Burton Historical Collection.

The best-ever image of the lost landmark.

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

Jean Nouvel – the 2008 Pritzker Prize Winner

NouvelNouvel

French architect Jean Nouvel snatched this year’s top honor in architecture. The prize which includes a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion, is to be presented on June 2nd at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

The Pritzker Prize “honors annually a living architect whose built work demonstrates talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.”

Nouvel, respected for his inquisitive and agile mind, takes great risks in each of his strikingly distinctive projects, expanding the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.

Examples of Nouvel’s works include 40 Mercer (SoHo), a luxury residence; Abgar Tower in Barcelona; the Guthrie Theater (photo at left); and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

Fischer and Finnell Building: 1910 and Now

Fischer and Finnell Store, 1910
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Photo montage by Kim Scarborough. Comments, below, by Wystan Stevens.

An interesting partnership -- Fischer was the son of German immigrants, and James Finnell was Irish, from a Northfield Township family. Although most of Ann Arbor's German settlers were Protestants, Fischer was a parishioner of St. Thomas Catholic Church. He and Finnell probably had gone to the parish school together. Finnell later became a traveling auctioneer, in the style of Braun and Helmer of these latter days.

The horse-drawn delivery van was one of a fleet of dozens operated by the Merchants' Delivery Company. A housewife could shop downtown on foot, or by way of the trolley, and not have to lug her packages home --the Merchants' Delivery took care of that chore.

The donkey was a photographer's prop. He would lead the docile animal through the neighborhoods, getting parents to pose their children with it. He probably charged a fee up front, then delivered the prints in person or by mail. As a child in the '30s, my brother posed in a cowboy outfit on the saddle of a pony led around in just this way. (My parents lived on Marshall Court, just a few blocks from this intersection.)

In the 1920s, this building was called "The Delta" because of its shape, but I don't know if that was the original name.

Zion Lutheran Church

Zion Lutheran Church
(Click for larger view.)

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

This view from ninety+ years ago looks west on Washington Street, across Fifth Avenue, and gives us a glimpse of the square Doric columns on a Greek Revival house (visible through trees at far right) which also is depicted on the 1880 birdseye-view map of Ann Arbor. It resembled the Kempf House. It is regrettable that no good photo of that house has survived. It must have been replaced by the Bell Telephone building, which was erected in 1925.

When this photo was taken, Zion Lutheran Church was located on the northeast corner of Washington at Fifth Avenue. For a few years in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the parish hall beside the church served as an annex (one of several) to Ann Arbor's cramped 1907 City Hall. (The Lutherans by then had moved to their present location on West Liberty.) The city abandoned these quarters in 1963, when offices were moved to the new (now Larcom) City Hall. The old church was then demolished, and Huron Valley Bank ("The Apple Bank") rose on this site.

Beta Theta Pi fraternity house, University of Michigan, c. 1902

Beta Theta Pi house

(Click on image for larger view.)

Beta Theta Pi house, State Street at Monroe (SW corner).

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

Angell Hall, U-M campus, featured in September, 1941, Ford News

Angell Hall
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The University of Michigan was featured in the September, 1941, issue of Ford News, a magazine which was sent to dealers and buyers of Ford automobiles. The striking cover photo, in color, shows several U-M scholars on the front steps of Angell Hall, where they appear dwarfed by the massive neoclassical columns.

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

1955 Magazine Advertisement

John-Bean fog truck

Ann Arbor Fire Department's John-Bean fog truck illustrated in 1955 magazine advertisement. Also shown is the ivy-covered dining hall of the University of Michigan Law Quadrangle.

(Click on image for larger view.)

Submitted by Wystan Stevens

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