Tour > Virtual Tour > Sill Hall
J. M. B. Sill Hall
constructed: Built 1965
Swanson and Associates, Bloomfield Hills
of Architecture: International
Use: Fine Arts and Industrial Arts
of renovation: 1980 raised the gallery
ceiling from 8 to 12 feet high.
Use: Houses the Communications Technology,
Aviation Technology, Construction Management,
ceramics lab, CAD/CAM lab, and even a snack
bar called Food for Thought. Lecture halls
also used by other departments.
Sill Hall carries the name of John Mayhelm
Barry Sill, a member of the first graduating
class of Normal in 1854. He taught English at
Normal and then became superintendent of the
Detroit public schools. In 1886 he returned
to Normal as its president determined to transform
the school into a college curriculum. Following
his retirement from the presidency, he became
United States Minister to Korea from 1894-97.
Mayhelm Barry Sill
Sill Hall is perhaps the finest example of the
International style on campus. The plain boxy
shape and the steal girder bridge at the front
are all emblematic of the simplicity and purity
of line popular preached by the International
style. Most of the buildings built from the
mid-1950s to the 1980s have similar characteristics.
Plain surfaces that emphasized utility above
decoration seemed practical and durable. The
concrete paneling on Sill’s exterior combined
an interest in new building materials with a
desire to show that the building was supported
from the inside not by the exterior curtain
was designed to house the Fine and Industrial
Arts programs in the high style of the 1960s.
It cost approximately $1.5 million dollars
to complete. The two-story wing designed for
the fine arts department including classrooms,
studios, and offices. The one-story wing housed
industrial arts classrooms including a variety
of shop facilities and offices. The building
has been primarily modified to meet the needs
of the arts programs. In 1980, in the largest
remodeling, the gallery ceiling was raised
from eight to twelve feet tall in order to
accommodated larger sculptures more easily.
In 1995 Construction Management Program added
computer cluster for student use.
of Sill Hall (Click on the image for
a bigger view)