Burns Park in Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Campus Patterns of Residential Life
Large, luxurious homes with extensive grounds lined Washtenaw Avenue when UM Librarian Andrew Ten Brook built his mansion across the street in the 1860s. Financial hardship soon required Ten Brook’s wife to open a boarding house, providing meals for students in her home.
Making homes into rooming houses began in 1858, when the university turned its dormitories into classrooms. In 1892 Phi Kappa Psi began the trend to convert Washtenaw’s mansions to fraternities, when it moved into merchant Chauncey Millen’s house at the corner of Hill Street. Phi Delta Theta replaced Ten Brook’s residence in 1903 with a new house designed by Albert Kahn, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon occupied the home of manufacturer George Bullis to your right. Kappa Alpha Theta sorority remodeled the house next door in 1916. A year earlier, private benefactors had funded the first women’s dormitories, Helen Newberry and Martha Cook. By 1941 eight more dormitories had been added for both men and women. Student cooperatives became part of the housing mix in the 1930s during the Depression, with shared housekeeping responsibilities reducing costs.
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations. A significant historical year for this entry is 1858.
Location. 42° 16.505′ N, 83° 43.91′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. It is in Burns Park. Marker is at the intersection of South University Avenue and Washtenaw Avenue, on the right when traveling west on South University Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1335 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. Phi Delta Theta Fraternity House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); South University and Forest Avenues (about 500 feet away); First Presbyterian Church Cornerstone (about 500 feet away); Delta Upsilon Fraternity (approx. 0.2 miles away); Washtenaw County War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Corners of South University and East University AvenuesForest Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Social and Political Change on South University (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Also see . . . Site 16. South University and Washtenaw. Marker on the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit website. (Submitted on May 28, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 12, 2023. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 28, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.