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


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Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Sill Hall

Sill Hall

Historic Name(s): J. M. B. Sill Hall

Sill Hall

Sill Hall

Date constructed: Built 1965

Architect: Swanson and Associates, Bloomfield Hills

Style of Architecture: International

Original Use: Fine Arts and Industrial Arts Building

Dates of renovation: 1980 raised the gallery ceiling from 8 to 12 feet high.

Current 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.

John Mayhelm Barry Sill

John Mayhelm Barry Sill
History: 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.

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 walls.

Sill Hall 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.

Location - Sill Hall


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