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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Corners of South University and East University Avenues

 
 
The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 10, 2021
1. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker
Inscription.  
In the 1898 panorama above, campus buildings had not yet reached this corner. The School of Engineering and its shops can be seen in the distance. Cousins and Hall greenhouses and florist shop occupied most of the first block across South University, which was then an unpaved boulevard. Houses lined the avenues surrounding campus as well as both sides of South University all the way to Washtenaw Avenue. (See 1880 birdseye at right.)

Over the next 25 years, the neighborhood changed dramatically as buildings filled the original 40-acre campus and expanded beyond. In 1904 the new Engineering Building with a pedestrian archway was added at this end of the diagonal walk. Houses on South University were replaced by Martha Cook dormitory for women in 1915 and by the Law Quadrangle in 1924. The site of the greenhouses became the athletic field for University High School (later the School of Education), built on East University in 1924. Ann Arbor's second apartment house, the Anberay, was built across the street the year before.

John MacGregor's grocery, the first commercial structure on this block, was built on this corner in
The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — top left images image. Click for full size.
2. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — top left images
Upper left: The Model Airplane Club gathered on the front steps of University High on East University Avenue, ca. 1936. The high school served as a laboratory for the School of Education until 1968.
Lower left: The Anberay, across from University High School, was the first of eight apartment buildings constructed near campus in the 1920s. It was demolished in 2007.
Right: Martha Cook dormitory in 1919
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1908. Eight years later shops lined both sides of South University as far as the next corner. Houses on East University (far right in the panorama) were replaced in 1923 by the East Engineering Building.

Sponsored in the memory of Fred C. Ulrich

Photos courtesy of Bob MacGregor, Marjorie O'Brien, and the Bentley Historical Library

 
Erected by Ann Arbor Historic District Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1898.
 
Location. 42° 16.52′ N, 83° 44.142′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of South University Avenue and East University Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1107 South University Avenue, 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. McDivitt-White Plaza (a few steps from this marker); Social and Political Change on South University (within shouting distance of this marker); Engineering at Michigan (within shouting distance of this marker); The Denison Archway (within shouting distance of this marker); West Engineering - West Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); East University Avenue Campus Boundary
The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — top right images image. Click for full size.
3. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — top right images
Left: West Engineering Building in 1919
Top Right: John MacGregor stands in front of his new grocery store on this corner in 1908. By 1920 a bookstore was built to the left on East University. Fred Ulrich, who had worked for both businesses, took over the bookstore in 1935.
Lower Right: Ulrich's Bookstore expanded its front in 1959. Decades earlier, a gas station had replaced the house on the corner across the street.
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics (about 500 feet away); South University and Forest Avenues (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Also see . . .  Site 15: Wall Display: The Corners of South University and East University Avenues. Marker on the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit website. (Submitted on October 18, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — middle image image. Click for full size.
4. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — middle image
Left to right (south to north): Cousins and Hall Florist, South University Avenue, School of Engineering, Diagonal Walk (Diag), Engineering Shops, East University Avenue, Boiler House, Medical Building
The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — bottom right image image. Click for full size.
5. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker — bottom right image
The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 10, 2021
6. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker
The former Ulrich's building was renovated and the marker was moved from the west wall to the north wall. It can no longer be seen from the road.
The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
7. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues Marker
Marker was on the former Ulrich's bookstore building, on the left side and to the right of the red door.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 18, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 224 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 28, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 18, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   6. submitted on July 28, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   7. submitted on October 18, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

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Oct. 20, 2021