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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
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Virtual Tour
Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Ford Hall

Ford Hall

Ford Hall (Before 1980)
Ford Hall (Present)

Ford Hall (Before 1980)

Ford Hall (Present)

Historic Name(s): Library (1930-62).
Mark Jefferson Library (1962-67).
Richard Clyde Ford Hall (1967-present)

Date Constructed: Built 1930.

Architect: Bowd and Munson, Architects, Lansing, Michigan

Style of Architecture: Colonial Revival with Classical influence

Original Use: University Library

Ford Hall - Library Ford Hall - Library

Ford Hall Interior (When it was a Library)

Dates of Renovation: 1967 & 1980. In 1980, remodeled to provide office and classroom space for the Television Center and Foreign Languages and Bilingual Studies Departments. September 1980: A fire in Studio A caused $4,000 damage.

Current Use: Art Department office space, classrooms, and galleries

History: Ford Hall opened as the first college library. Normal had grown considerably since its founding. The small collection of books housed in one room of the Old Main Building no longer served the needs of the college community. President Charles McKenny (1912-33) headed the college at the time and recognized the profound need for a larger library. Under his guidance over the last 18 years, the school had become the largest teacher training program in the United States. A one-room library was no longer sufficient.

Originally simply called the Library, it was later renamed Mark Jefferson Library in honor of the head of the Geography Department from 1901-39. In 1967, when the second library (now Porter College of Education) opened, it became a classroom building. On May 17, 1967, it was rededicated as Richard Clyde Ford Hall. Ford had been head of the Modern Language Department from 1903-40. In addition to his academic duties, Ford wrote articles for magazines, edited French and German school texts, wrote young peoples’ histories of Michigan and of the northwest, and was a popular speaker and lecturer. He was an authority on the life and culture of Native Americans. The rededication took place on the 90th anniversary of Ford’s birth.

Ford Hall - Interior

Ford Hall (Interior being Remodeled)

The building has been remodeled several times over the years. In 1980, builders added private office and classrooms space for the Television Center and Foreign Languages and Bilingual Studies Departments. In September of the same year a fire broke out ($4,000 damage) in one of the film studios. Two engineers working the area acted quickly by partially extinguishing flames that engulfed a studio curtain used as a backdrop in the making of films.

Ford Hall has been renovated twice since 1982. It has provided office and classroom space, and art galleries for the Art Department. The Department of Communications and Theater Arts also holds most of its production classes in this building to utilize two television studios on the lower floor.

Location - Ford Hall

 


Location of Ford Hall (Click on the image for a bigger view)