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Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Harris Hall

 
 
Harris Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, January 12, 2012
1. Harris Hall Marker
Inscription.  
Harris Hall was built in 1886 as a student center to "establish Christian teaching in the midst of a great secular university." Funds were raised from all over the country by Michigan Episcopal Bishop Samuel Harris. As a parish house for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, the building housed church offices, Sunday school, and social space, but it was largely devoted to the activities of the student Hobart Guild.

Students were encouraged to use the three parlors, reading room, dining room, kitchen, and billiard room. A bowling alley and gymnasium occupied the basement. The thousand-volume library was "free to all who keep good order." Endowed lectures and talks by national and local figures were held in a large assembly hall on the second floor. Harris Hall remained a student religious center well into the 20th century.

Sponsored by Friends of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Student Foundation (Canterbury House)
 
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music
Harris Hall Marker — top images image. Click for full size.
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
2. Harris Hall Marker — top images
Top image: Drawing of Hobart Hall in 1886, later renamed Harris Hall.
Top image inset: In this view looking west on Huron Street in 1865, the Sperry House (above, arrow) stood on the future site of Harris Hall. Across the unpaved Huron Street was the Seaman residence, later Presbyterian Sackett Hall. It was torn down for the 1940 Methodist Church. The corner fence on the left surrounded Union School, built in 1856.
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Churches & ReligionEducation. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
 
Location. 42° 16.878′ N, 83° 44.461′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of North State Street and East Huron Street, on the left when traveling north on North State Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 617 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Schools and Churches (here, next to this marker); FUMC's BSA Troop 4 (within shouting distance of this marker); Carnegie Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ann Arbor High School (about 300 feet away); The James Foster House of Art (about 600 feet away); Ideation Building (about 700 feet away); Town and Gown: Entertainment and Changing Culture (about 700 feet away); Rackham School of Graduate Studies (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Also see . . .  Site 11: Wall Display: Harris Hall. Marker on the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit website. (Submitted on January 25, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Harris Hall Marker — bottom images image. Click for full size.
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
3. Harris Hall Marker — bottom images
Left image: Harris Hall's popularity was challenged by competition from movies, automobiles, and other recreational choices. During World War II, St. Andrew's provided the building rent free to the USO as a recreation hall for servicemen (shown gathered around the piano at left). Student activities moved for a time to a large home known as Canterbury House on North Division across Catherine Street from the church.
Right image: The UM Band and Wind Instrument Department occupied Harris Hall from 1946 until 1974, when Revelli Hall, a new band building on Hoover Street, was completed. (Conductor William Revelli on the steps of Harris Hall, at right). Sold to the Word of God Community and later rehabilitated for commercial use, Harris Hall underwent major restoration work after its acquisition in 2003 by Dahlmann Properties.
Harris Hall and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 10, 2021
4. Harris Hall and Marker
Harris Hall - ca. 1890 image. Click for full size.
Photo from the collection of the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.
5. Harris Hall - ca. 1890
Harris Hall plaque image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 10, 2021
6. Harris Hall plaque
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 25, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 310 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 25, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   2, 3, 4. submitted on July 21, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   5. submitted on January 25, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   6. submitted on July 22, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

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Jan. 20, 2022