Mary Butler Markley Hall

Mary Markely Residence Hall (upper right)

Mary Butler Markley Residence Hall at 1425 Washington Heights was first planned as a residence for 1,200 women but was later occupied by both men and women. The construction contract was awarded to George W. Lathrop and Sons, Inc. in March of 1957. The project totaled $6,060,631 and was financed by a loan from the Housing and Home Finance Agency and a term loan secured by future revenues from student housing. The building was completed in February 1959 and included 283,888 gross square feet. Harley, Ellington & Day, Inc., designed the “H” shaped dormitory, sited on Washington Heights, which contained nine houses in four wings accommodating 1,200 students. An innovation at the time of completion was a telephone in every room. The dormitory was named to honor Mary Butler Markley, a faculty widow, who had been extremely active in alumnae affairs for many years.

The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer>Physical Properties> Buildings, p.55

Mary Markley House

In May, 1944, on request of the Alumnae Council, the designation of the dormitory previously known as Alumnae House was changed to Mary Markley House in honor of Mary Elizabeth Butler Markley (1892), one of the first women to graduate from the University and widow of Joseph L. Markley, who was for many years chairman of the Department of Mathematics. Mrs. Markley had always taken an active part in alumnae affairs and even in her eighties continued to be interested in the house.

Mary Markley House faced many difficulties at the time of World War II. It was too small to be operated efficiently, and by 1950, although maintenance and repair had been kept to a minimum, the house was in debt. It was also in poor condition. In April, 1950, therefore, with the approval of the Board of Patronesses of Mary Markley House and the Executive Board of the Alumnae Council, the following recommendations were approved:
  1. That the Mary Markley House be closed the end of the current semester.

  2. That a payment of not more than $20,000 from the Mary Markley House Building and Equipment Reserve for Repair and Replacement and the General Residence Halls Reserve, to the Mary Bartron Henderson Memorial House fund, be approved in recognition of the fact that Mary Markley House was presented to the University by the alumnae and the alumnae are desirous to complete the Henderson House;

  3. That authorization be given for the completion of final plans and specifications for the Henderson House with an anticipated expenditure of not more than the sum of money in hand, including the above mentioned $20,000, for that purpose;

  4. That the name Mary Markley be remembered in the naming of future women's housing facilities;

  5. That the members of the Mary Markley Board be recommended for their faithful services and relieved of duty as of the close of the current semester. (Regent's Proceedings, 1948-51, p. 809.)

Thus, there came to an end Alumnae House, subsequently, Mary Markley House. The financial aid which it provided toward the completion of an enlarged and more modern Henderson House will be of lasting benefit to the women who seek co-operative housing on the campus.

Ruth Gjelsness, Francis Shiel (The University of Michigan: An Encyhclopedic Survey, pp. 1714, 1724,1796)

Alumnae House at 1227 Washtenaw.
The building was torn down in 1926, and Alumni House moved to 1219 Washtenaw Avenue.

Aumnae House - Mary Markley House
1219 Washington Avenue

Alumnae House at 1219 Washtenaw Avenue was operated as a women's cooperative dormitory beginning in 1926. The property was owned by the University and it was placed at the disposal of the alumnae for a women's cooperative when the original home of Alumnae House at 1227 Washtenaw was torn down. In 1944 the name was changed to the Mary Markley House. The house was closed in 1950, and was then used by the Engineering Research Institute. (Michigan Alumnus, 1941-2)

Alumnae House - Mary Markley House Interior