Helen Newberry Residence


Helen Newberry Residence (Facing State Street)



In 1913 the University received from Mrs. Henry Joy, Truman Newberry and John Newberry a gift of $75,000 for the construction of a residence hall in memory of their mother Helen Handy (Mrs. John S. Newberry). The understanding was that the property would belong to the Student Christian Association, but the hall would be built and administered by the University.

The building comprised of four floors and a basement was of hollow tile construction, semi-fireproof, with a white stucco exterior. The entrance was originally at the center of the building, and a reception room and a lounge were at either side of the hallway which led to the dining room. These rooms were arranged so that the doors could be opened for receptions and dances. In 1934, when the building was remodeled, the main entrance was moved to the north side opposite the central staircase, and a sun porch was constructed across the front of the building. The guest room at the right of the new entrance was taken over by the assistant to the director in 1950. The office across the hall served as a post office and contained a switchboard for Helen Newberry Residence and Betsy Barbour House. The first floor also contained a director’s suite, an office, two student rooms, the dining room, and an open porch on the south sometimes used for sun-bathing. A well-arranged serving kitchen and a suite for the dietitian were at the rear of the building.

The basement housed the kitchen, a staff dining room, the laundry, a storage room, a recreation room, and two suites for staff members. The building had twenty-five single rooms, forty-five double rooms, and one triple room on the second, third, and fourth floors.

In March 1915, the trustees of the Student Christian Association proposed to deed Newberry Residence to the University, to be operated as a residence hall for women, with the attached condition that the net income from its operation, after paying operating expenses and upkeep, should be paid to the Student Christian Association for the maintenance of its work for the women of the University.

In 1925 an agreement was entered into to provide for payment of $25,000 with interest, by the University, in return for which the University received full ownership of Newberry Residence, and the Students' Christian Association relinquished entirely its interest in the earnings of the building. The University also received a strip of land, of considerable value, running along the south side of its land on State Street in front of Newberry Residence; this strip also bounds the Newberry Hall lot on the north.

Ruth Gjelsness ( The University of Micigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, p. 1718)




The University Main Building

In 1934 a sun porch was added across the front of the building.


Helen Newberry Residence (north side)

Helen Newberry Residence (right) Betsy Barbour Residence (left)