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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
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(734) 487-1849


Virtual Tour
Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > King Hall

King Hall

King Hall and Goodison Hall
King Hall

Foreground: King Hall
Goodison Hall
(now demolished)

King Hall(Present)

Historic Name(s): Julia Anne King Hall

Date constructed: 1939

Architect: R. S. Gerganoff, of Ypsilanti

King Hall's Portico

King Hall's Portico
Style of Architecture: PWA Modern

Original Use: First Residence hall for women

Dates of renovation: 1971 Renovated for Music Department and Special Education Department.

Current Use: Office of the Dean of Students, Student Judicial Services, Center for Environmental Information Technology and Applications (CEITA), WEMU student radio, Women’s Center, Women’s Commission.

History: King Hall and its companion building Goodison (now demolished) were among the first dormitories built on Eastern Michigan’s campus.

According to a brochure describing the new housing, the buildings had been designed “so that students may enjoy not only the modern conveniences, but also the atmosphere of a cultured home and a program of worthwhile activities.” Photographs of the work in process show that they were built with Public Works Association (PWA) labor. The PWA had been established as a method to bring the unemployed back to work during the Great Depression. Because his influence, president John M. Munson was able to use the PWA labor for a number of the necessary improvements on campus. These architects and laborers were instrumental in developing the brick and pale stone style popular on the southern side of the campus.

King Hall - Architectural Design
King Hall - Architectural Design

King Hall’s PWA Modern Style Design Details
These two dormitories, constructed as women’s housing were designed in the shape of two opposing “U’s” enclosing a private courtyard for recreation, similar to the one surviving in the Munson-Brown Apartments. In the ground-breaking floor plans, architects created the first two-room dormitory suites in the state. Each suite included a bedroom with an adjoining study. Furnishings included a twin-sized maple bed for each student with mattress, box spring, and pillow; a built in dresser and closet; a bedside rug; and dressing table. The study room contained a double desk with a shelf for a typewriter or books, a bookcase, study chair, and easy chair. Halls shared bathrooms that included an electric hairdryer. Other convinces included five “date parlors,” and a laundry room with tubs, ironing boards and clothes dryers.

The complex included a cafeteria and dining room for meals. Lunch was served cafeteria style but dinner was a more elaborate affair with assigned tables and a student hostess to over see the meal at each one. The school attempted to create a sense of gentility in their dormitories. For all these amenities, room and board cost $144 per semester, payable in two installments of $72.00 each.

Julia Anne King

Julia Anne King

King Hall was named for Julia Anne King, former preceptress, or dean, of women at State Normal (1881-86) and first head of the Department of History and Social Science (1886-1913). Miss King was known for her interest in the development of students at Normal. Every Friday afternoon, she gave “Conversations” with female students in which she discussed practical questions like dress, manners, and religion. Later these conversations shifted in character to the manner of sermons reminding her listeners of how proper ladies should behave. Colleges felt a moral imperative to teach their students not only information but also how to live better, more moral lives.

Today, King no longer houses the young ladies who came to study at Normal. In 1971 it was renovated for Music Department creating space for offices, classrooms, and practice rooms. The Special Education department also used the building. Later it became entirely devoted to office space. Today it still it devoted to the needs of students, housing the office of the Dean of students and the campus Women’s Center.

Location - King Hall


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