Frieze Building


Frieze Building



The Regents first discussed the acquisition and prospective uses of the Ann Arbor High School building and land at 105 South State Street in May of 1954. In November purchase was authorized at a cost of $1,400,000, including 2.112 acres valued at $244,000. The structure was built in 1905. In February of 1956 the building was renamed the Henry S. Frieze Building, after a University Latin professor who twice served as acting President, and in July a contract was awarded to the Spence Brothers Company for a significant addition and modernization project amounting to $2,436,000, financed primarily from state appropriations. After lengthy City-University discussions, Thayer Street between East Huron and East Washington Streets was closed permitting an extensive addition to the original building. This Colvin & Robinson designed addition, plus extensive remodeling in the existing facility, included removal of the heating plant and connection of the entire facility to the University's central heating system. The project was completed in December of 1957. The new space was used for certain departments of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the School of Social Work. This facility provided a total of 197,920 gross square feet of space for these activities.


Vice President & Chief Financial Officer p. 56 (The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey)

In February 1956 the building was renamed the Henry S. Frieze Building.  There was strong reason to name the old high school after Henry Frieze.  Prior to the Civil War, most public education occurred at the primary level, and colleges and universities were obliged to create associated academies to prepare students for college work.  Frieze instead began the practice of certifying select Michigan public schools as capable of offering respectable college preparation, thereby freeing the university from preparatory commitments and stimulating the schools of the state to extend their responsibilities into secondary education.  This was the device that unleashed the high-school movement in the Midwest and later the nation.




Henry Simmons Frieze

Ann Arbor High School


Frieze Building 1957 Addition