by Pamela Young, Published May 13, 2009
YPSILANTI —Eastern Michigan University has won a Michigan Historic Preservation Network’s (MHPN) Government/Institutional Award for its preservation of the University’s core historic campus. The award, a glass engraved plaque, will be presented to EMU President Susan Martin May 15 in Grand Rapids.
“I’m ecstatic. This award is validation that the reuse of existing and historic buildings works in an economic, environmental and cultural sense,” said Ted Ligibel, professor of geography and geology and director of the historic preservation program. “It shows a certain level of sophistication to understand the past and proves that reusing existing buildings for new uses makes sense. It’s a pathway to the past while looking to the future.”
During the last twenty years, Eastern has restored a number of its core historic buildings on campus, and many are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. EMU’s historic district includes Starkweather (1896), Welch Hall (1896), Sherzer Hall (1903); Pease Auditorium (1914), and McKenny Hall (1930-31).
Campus preservation is highlighted through annual preservation programs and tours, and the University offers degrees in historic preservation. EMU’s Historic Preservation Program received the Government/Institutional Award from the Network in 2005 in recognition of 25 years of preservation education in Michigan. The EMU program is the largest in the nation.