Wayne State University Buildings
Wayne State University Buildings
Old Main on WSU campus
|Location||Detroit, Michigan United States|
|Architect||Malcomson & Higginbotham; Field, Hinchman & Smith|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival, Queen Anne|
|NRHP Reference #||78001524|
|Added to NRHP||June 23, 1978|
|Designated MSHS||January 19, 1957|
The Wayne State University Buildings historic district consists of three buildings on 4735-4841 Cass Ave in Detroit, Michigan: the Mackenzie House (4735 Cass), the Hilberry Theater (4743 Cass), and Old Main (4841 Cass), all on the campus of Wayne State University. The buildings were designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1957 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Old Main was designed and built in 1895-1896 by Malcomson & Higginbotham. Its original use was to house Detroit's Central High School. The original building plan had 103 rooms arranged in a "T" shape, with an auditorium which seated over 2,000 people. In 1908, a wing was added housing gymnasiums, laboratories, and shops.
The function of the building began to change in 1917, when Detroit Junior College opened its doors in a part of the building. The enrollment in the college grew, crowding the building and the high school still housed there. In 1923, the College of the City of Detroit (CCD) replaced the Detroit Junior College, crowding the building even more. Finally, in 1926, Central High School moved out of the building, leaving CCD as the primary occupant, along with a smaller College High School. In 1928, the latter closed, leaving CCD as the sole tenant. Five years later, Wayne State University was formed.
A large wing on Warren Avenue was added in 1937. The building continued to serve Wayne State, and in 1994 received major renovations and a new addition.
The Hilberry Theatre
was built in 1916/1917 as First Church of Christ Scientist, Detroit, designed by the architectural firm of Field, Hinchman and Smith (predecessor of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls). The auditorium was designed to seat 1,500 congregants. The Christian Science congregation used the building until 1961, when they sold it to Wayne State University. WSU remodeled the interior to create a theatre to seat 500 people, serving as a repertory theater. The building was re-christened in honor of Clarence Hilberry, the fourth president of WSU.
The Mackenzie House is a Queen Anne house, designed by Malcomson & Higginbotham and built in 1895. It was the home of David Mackenzie, principal of Central High School and founder of the College of the City of Detroit.
In the mid-1970s, the Mackenzie House was slated for demolition, until a group of Wayne State students protested. Their successful effort created a new organization, Preservation Wayne. The building now serves as the offices of the organization, renamed Preservation Detroit.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Wayne State University Historic District". Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- Campus map from Wayne State University
- "Partners in Education: Old Main and Wayne", Patricia Bartkowski, from the Walter P. Reuther Library
- Hilberry Theater/First Church of Christ Scientist from Detroit1701.org
- Mackenzie House from Michigan Historical Markers
- Preservation Detroit history
References and further reading
- Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3.
- Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4.
- Wayne State University
- Hilberry Theater
- Preservation Wayne
- University Cultural Center Association