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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
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Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Best/Wise/Buell/Downing Residence Halls

Best/ Wise/ Buell/ Downing Residence Halls

Historical Name(s): Estelle Downing Residence Hall, Bertha G. Buell Residence
Best/ Wise/ Buell/ Downing Residence Halls

Best/ Wise/ Buell/ Downing Residence Halls
Hall, Margaret G. Wise Residence Hall, Martha Best Residence Hall

Date constructed: Buell-Downing complex built 1957-58 Downing opened September 1957 and Buell in January 1958. Both dedicated March 1958. Wise begun 1962 and scheduled to open 1964. Best opened at the same time as Wise.

Architect: Swanson Associates, Inc. of Bloomfield Hills.

Style of Architecture: International

Original Use: All buildings were originally intended as residence halls.

Dates of renovation: 1994: Wise renovated adding Cable TV, call waiting, a few two-room suites, and enhanced security. 1998: Downing remodeled with new overhead lighting, ceiling treatments, newly painted and carpeted rooms

Current Use: Honors dorm in Wise Hall, Fall 2000

History: Eastern’s enrolment grew rapidly in the post World War II years, resulting

Courtyard of the Residence Halls

Courtyard of the Residence Halls
in skyrocketing demands for on campus housing. Goddard residence hall opened in 1955 and construction began almost immediately on a new housing complex. This time, plans called for four buildings surrounding a central dining facility. When completed, the new housing would contain space for approximately 1,200 students in the geographical heart of campus.

The new housing was originally intended for women. Builders hoped to complete the complex by 1958. Downing opened first in 1957 and Buell followed in 1958. Best and Wise did not open until the early 1960s. Buell and Downing could each house approximately 300 students. Wise, when it was completed, included recreation and laundry rooms, and meeting rooms, as well as housing fro 322 students.

Each of the buildings was named for an influential professor at Eastern. Estelle Downing taught English (1898-1938), Bertha G. Buell taught History, English Literature, and Political Science (1899-1937); Margaret E. Wise first grade teacher-trainer during her tenure from 1893-1939 and also served as director of placement 1927-39; and Martha Best who was a professor of Biology and Bacteriology (1924-52).

Renovations in the 1990s have included the addition of cable television and call waiting as well as better security systems such as security cameras and key cards. In 1998, Downing was remodeled with new overhead lighting, new ceiling treatments, new carpets, and fresh paint.

Location - Best/ Wise/ Buell/ Downing Residence Halls


Location of Best/ Wise/ Buell/ Downing Residence Halls (Click on the image for a bigger view)