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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
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Virtual Tour
Historic Tour > Virtual Tour > Strong Hall

Strong Hall

Historic Name(s): Edwin A. Strong Physical Science Building

Strong Hall

Strong Hall

Date constructed: Groundbreaking April 23, 1956. Completed for fall of 1957. Dedicated Feb. 28, 1958

Architect: Swanson Associates, Bloomfield Hills

Style of Architecture: International

Original Use: Natural sciences laboratory and classroom space

Dates of renovation: 1980 murals added to walls

Current Use: Houses Geography and Geology Department and Physics and Astronomy Department (laboratory and lecture hall space)

History: Strong Hall was named for Edwin A. Strong head of the Physical

Edwin A. Strong

Edwin A. Strong

Science Department, 1885-1916. Friends called Strong one of the most learned men on campus, known for his wide interests in knowledge for its own sake, his broad knowledge of science, and his kindness and courtesy. Strong Hall was planned to replace Sherzer as the home of science on campus. With rapidly expanding enrolment in the post-World War II period, Normal needed more classroom space and better science equipment. When the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957 science education took on a new urgency. The science program published a brochure that described the program and proclaimed the rewards of the sciences as “Identification in the ever-expanding list of professionals vital to maintaining our high standards of living. A growing awareness of one’s contributions to the society as a whole. An appreciation of the broadening horizons that reward the sharing of our culture with others. A sense of security in the universal truths of nature that defy human exploitation of power, time and space. Glimpse of the infinite shrouded by the mysteries of the yet unknown”.

The new science building was constructed for $1,500,000 on the site of the old powerhouse. When the building was opened in 1957 only half of the original plan had yet been implemented. The lecture and laboratory wing, which stands today, contained nine labs each for chemistry and physics plus ten additional labs for faculty research. Five large lecture halls, offices, and nine classrooms completed the building. The plan called for a planetarium wing and a classroom wing to be built at a later date. For the present, however, a school brochure called the building “one of the most modern college physical science facilities in the country.” Strong Hall’s design placed most of the classrooms and laboratories in the central core of the building. Rooms in the central core did not have windows were all artificially lighted and air-conditioned. The core was designed to maintain uniform environmental conditions regardless of Michigan’s changing weather conditions.

Walls were painted with murals relating to the sciences in 1980. Since its construction, Strong has become primarily a classroom and student laboratory building.

Location - Strong Hall

 


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