WMU Campus History

1927 Campus Planning Map
for Western State Teachers College

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bullet By 1925 the Western State Normal School had grown significantly, totalling thirteen buildings and a stadium, and enrolling over 2200 students.  The School campaigned with the State to be elevated to the status of a teachers college. The new designation was approved in 1927.

bullet As can be seen in the plan below, the School was expanding to the west of Prospect Hill (often called Normal Hill).  Campus expansion and development was proving to be a challenge for the administration.  The physical planning issues included steep terrain on three sides of Normal Hill, established residential neighborhoods to the south and east, the Kalamazoo State [Psychiatric] Hospital to the south, and a railroad line and swampland further to the west.  (Waldo Stadium was constructed on drained land.)  There were few building options that did not involve above-average construction costs, either from building on steep slopes or wetlands, or from buying up residential properties.  Apparently the stadium location was considered undesirable, for the plan shows that there were hopes of moving the stadium further up the hillside to approximately where parking lot #10 is now located, and away from the constant drainage problems.

bullet Existing buildings that are to be removed are marked with an "X".   Proposed buildings are drawn and numbered.  The caption contains a description of each proposed building and a projected cost.

Click here for enlarged map
1927 Planning Sketch, Western State Teachers College




Planning Division of Facilities Management; Mail #5313
1903 W. Michigan Ave.
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5313 USA
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