Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remember The 1890s?

Onlookers used their cellphone cameras on Oct. 8 to capture the moment as an 1890s-era house at 417 S. Division St. was demolished. The brick house just south of downtown Ann Arbor stood in the way of the University of Michigan's $29 million expansion of the Institute for Social Research building. Another house to the south of the building, where famous playwright Arthur Miller first lived when he went to the University of Michigan in the 1930s, also could be demolished, though neither house actually stands or stood in the way of the expansion. As local resident Tom Whitaker pointed out, "While I value historic houses very much, perhaps the bigger story here is the senseless loss of decent housing, close to campus, where students, staff or faculty could have continued living and walking to class or work. If you look at the site plans and renderings, the ISR addition is shown with the three houses remaining in place. They did not interfere with the footprint of the new construction at all. No, this is all about creating some room for the contractor and but more importantly, to add surface parking lots later." Read the story.

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