Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
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.
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.
The UM Band and Wind Instrument Department occupied Harris Hall from 1946 until 1974,
Sponsored by Friends of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Student Foundation (Canterbury House)
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
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 North State 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.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Governor Alpheus Felch (approx. 0.2 miles away); The University of Michigan Men's Glee Club (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Thomas the Apostle Church (approx. ¼ mile away); First Medical Buildings Michigan Central Railroad Depot (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Main Street Shopping Experience (approx. 0.4 miles away); Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Also see . . . Harris Hall. Harris Hall marker on the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Project website. (Submitted on January 25, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Churches & Religion • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 25, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 192 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 25, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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