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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
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Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Hoyt/Pittman/Hill Residence Halls & Conference Center

Hoyt/Pittman/Hill Residence Halls & Conference Center

Historic Name(s): Charles Oliver Hoyt Residence Hall,

Hoyt/Pittman/Hill Residence Halls & Conference Center

Hoyt/Pittman/Hill Residence
Halls & Conference Center

Marvin Summers Pittman Residence Hall, Susan B. Hill Residence Hall,
Conference Center

Date Constructed: Dedicated 10/24/69

Architect: K. F. Leinninger Associates, Birmingham, MI.

Style of Architecture: International

Original Use: Residence Halls and Conference Center

Dates of Renovation: Hoyt Residence Hall – 1987: five floors; cost $1.5 million.
Hill Residence Hall – 1995; cost approx. $200,000.
Pittman Residence Hall – 1997.

Current Use: Residence Halls

History: The complex was constructed in 1969 to house ever-growing numbers of students at the university. The buildings cost $6.25 million to construct. The university financed the project through the sale of self-liquidating bonds. These 11-story structures stand taller than anything on or near campus except the city water tower at Cross and Washtenaw. Designers built the residence halls to house a total of 1,404 students in the three dormitories. Hill and Hoyt were originally dedicated to women while men lived in Pittman. Like many of the other dormitories on campus, the buildings surround a courtyard. The fourth side of the court is closed by the Conference Center which contains Dining Commons #3.

Like many of the buildings on campus, the residence halls bear the names of important faculty. Charles Oliver Hoyt was a professor of pedagogy and head of the Department of Education from 1896-1928. Marvin Summers Pittman, known as the “father of Lincoln Consolidated School” (a local school district), was Director of Rural Education at Normal and EMU faculty member from 1921-34. Susan B. Hill is remembered as Dean of Women from 1939-62 and Dean of Students from 1962-69.

Prior to 1976, Eastern had to apply for a 24-hour permit in order to serve alcoholic beverages. In 1977, the state legislature enacted a new law granting restricted licenses – a measure championed by State Representative Gary Owen, D – Ypsilanti. That year, EMU received the first Class C liquor license at a university in the state. Then new license allowed EMU to serve beer, wine and liquor at its regularly scheduled conference center activities. The University was enthusiastic about this possibilities, but was emphatic that the license did not extend to over the counter liquor sales. James Mathias, director of McKenny Union and University conferences [explained that] "An awful lot of business that the university may have had has traditionally been taken off campus because the sponsors wanted liquor. We’ll be able to appeal to all kinds of potential convention planners who want liquor served at their activities." Attitudes about liquor on campus changed in the next two decades, and in September of 1996, the state attorney general ruled that it was illegal to grant such a license to an institution on state-owned land. Today, the conference no longer serves alcohol, but continues to host events and conferences.

The buildings have been remodeled over the years. Fires in 1987 damaged all three of the buildings, but Hoyt was the most radically damaged. It underwent a $1.5 million remodeling that included five floors. The other two have been redone in the 1990s.

Location - Hoyt/Pittman/Hill Residence Halls & Conference Center


Location of Hoyt/Pittman/Hill Residence Halls & Conference Center (Click on the image for a bigger view)