Henry Frieze Vaughan Public Health Building


Henry Frieze Vaughan Public Health Building


The School of Public Health Building on Observatory Street was built at a cost of $534,000. The building was a gift to the University from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation which gave the University approximately $400,000. The Rockefeller Foundation made a grant of $300,000, and the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis gave $50,000.

The building was opened in 1943. It was designed by Lewis Sarvis, and was unique in that it offered an opportunity for co-ordinating classroom work, research work, research programs, and field experience.

The U-shaped building, of brick and glass construction, was three stories high with 200 rooms. The front part contained classroom and administrative offices, a large circular library with pine paneling, a circular auditorium seating 200, and seminar rooms. The building also had a health education museum, an outdoor class and recreation room on the roof, and a kitchen and dining room for the staff.

The two-story wings were devoted to research. The north wing contained the department of industrial health on the first floor and public health engineering on the second. In the south wing were the virus disease laboratories, where the work in poliomyelitis, influenza, and the parasitic diseases such as malaria, was carried on. In the east wing was the media department where materials for growing disease organisms were prepared and where the animals for experimentation were housed. In connection with the animals there was an ultramodern kitchen, an operating room, and X-ray equipment.

The greatest precautions were taken to provide for segregation and against contamination in designing the building, which was carefully planned to fulfill every requirement in the study of modern public health education.

Ruth Gjelsness (The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, p. 1732)

In 1971 the Public Health Building was named in honor of Henry Frieze Vaughan, the first Dean of the School and chairman of the Department of Public Health Practice. (Regent's Proceedings, October, 1971, p. 1267)

The University Main Building

Herny Frieze Vaughan

Dr. Henry Frieze Vaughan served as Commissioner of Health in Detorit.  He was named the first dean of the School of Public Health in 1941 and served until he retired in 1959.  He was the son of Victor Vaughan, a professor and dean of the Medical School for many years.