Tour > Virtual Tour > Hover Building
Name(s): Hover Laboratory and Greenhouse
Hover Building (2003-present)
R. S. Gerganoff of Ypsilanti
of Architecture: PWA Moderne
Use: Science Building & Greenhouse
of renovation: 2002: Redeveloped
to house the Business and Finance Department.
Use: Houses the Business and Finance
Hover laboratory was built as yet another
Munson era building project. This time, Munson
was able to use Works Project Administration
(WPA) labor to build the new laboratory building
for $53,000. The WPA was a Depression Era
program run by the federal government in an
effort to give jobs to hundreds of unemployed
workers. Using his broad influence, Munson
was able to get WPA labor to construct not
only the laboratory but also hundreds of miles
of pipes under the campus of EMU as part of
his building plan.
was intended to house biology laboratories.
Its name honors John Milton Hover, 1908 graduate
of Normal College and head of Department of
Natural Sciences and Dean of Administration
(1919-40). Hover had a colorful life, including
an attempt for the 1934 Republican nomination
to congress. He was active among civic functions
including being a member of city council and
a member of the Ypsilanti board of Education.
Students at Normal liked and respected Hover
for his kindness and deep involvement with
campus life. Hover had such popularity with
the student body, that following his sudden
death in 1940, President Munson wrote the
“TO THE FACULTY:
The funeral of Dean Hover takes place at 4:00
o’clock Tuesday. The examination period
2-4 Tuesday afternoon will close promptly at
3:30. All instructors are requested to reduce
extent of examinations accordingly.
June 10, 1940 J. M. Munson”.
new laboratory opened a year later, it was
named in his honor. The building was designed
to house the Department of Biology laboratories,
a greenhouse, and a plant laboratory and Biology
Career Center. The brick
building had classrooms
on either side of entrance, with workrooms behind
them, and offices connected to the workrooms.
A green house was connected to the back. The
architects designed the building so that wings
could be added later if necessary.
Building (being renovated)
years, the old greenhouse was a popular lunch
spot. The college acquired it in 1941, but
the building is believed to have been constructed
about 1902. With his usual frugality, Munson
negotiated the purchase of the $20,000 greenhouse
for the paltry sum of $3,500 from the Eskine
estate of South Bend, IN. The Greenhouse replaced
the science garden that had been planted behind
On its new
site, the greenhouse included a bulb caller
and space for two classrooms as well as a
desert room containing a century plant, a
cork oak tree, and tropical room housing a
dwarf banana plant. Aproximately 200 plants
were in the building including an Indian rubber
plant, a fig tree, a corn plant, orchids,
and birds of paradise. Spanish moss hung from
the plants and was used in the spring by squirrels
to line their nests. Many doves often nested
in the tops of the trees gaining entrance
through vents in the top.
the building was no longer used for lab space,
and the aging greenhouse had been removed.
The greenhouse and plant collections were
moved to the new Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
Research Facility near McKenny Union. The
Hover Building was thoroughly renovated in
2002 to house the University's Business and
Finance division, which moved into the building
in the spring of 2003.