West Medical



West Medical



In 1903 a new medical building was completed. The original building had served the University for over 50 years. The 1864 addition proved so dangerous and ill-adapted that on the completion of the new building it was no longer used for classes. The first floor laboratories continued to be used, and for some years the original section was used. On August 12, 1911, a fire of unknown origin broke out on the third floor of the addition wing, which practically destroyed the west half of the building. The old front part was saved, only to be razed in 1914, to the regret of all the medical alumni of the University, who had already raised funds to save the building and adapt it for modern conditions of instruction. This proved impracticable, due to the fact that with the expansion of the University and the erection of new buildings, the land upon which it stood had become extremely valuable. Randall Laboratory of Physics stands upon the site of the First Medical Building.


Interior of the Medical Building Addition after the fire
Original Medical Building (inset) - Original Medical Building (left) Addition (X)



The West Medical Building was located on East University just north of the original Medical Building. Spier and Rohns were the architects, and Koch Brothers, of Ann Arbor, were in charge of construction. The total cost was $167,000. The building was completed in 1903, in the Renaissance style, was rectangular, measuring 175 by 145 feet, with an inner court 75 by 45 feet which admitted light to all parts of the building.

The structure consisted of a basement and three stories. The basement and first story were faced with dressed field stone, laid in course. The upper stories were of pressed brick of light buff color and mottled, with ornamental and molded brick for belt courses, arches and cornices.



West Medical Building



The two main ornamental entrances on the east and west sides were constructed of Bedford limestone. The vestibules were faced with dark red pressed brick. The interior of walls and nearly all partitions were finished with stock brick and coated with enamel paint. The floors and corridors throughout the building were of quarter-sawed Georgia pine, except in the case of the anatomical laboratories which had monolithic water-tight floors. The ceilings throughout were of wood. The general finish of the interior was of Louisiana red cypress.


West Medical Building

Facing the Diag

West Medical Building

Facing East University


The building was originally occupied by the departments of Anatomy, Histology, Pathology, Bacteriology, Physiological Chemistry, and Hygiene. In addition to the spacious laboratories of these departments, the building contained two large amphitheaters, two large recitation rooms, and a suite of rooms for executive purposes. Space was also provided for the anatomical and pathological museums. The building in 1955 housed the offices of the Medical School and the laboratories of the departments of Pathology and of Physiological Chemistry.


Original Medical Building (left) West Medical Building (right)


Original Medical Building (left) West Medical Building (right)