WMU Campus History

1952 Campus Maps :
Western Michigan College of Education

Campus Maps Main Page

bullet Land purchases in the 1930s and 1940s expanded the campus properties from Davis Street on the east to Vande Giessen Road on the west.  By 1952 Western was firmly established on the lands to the west of the railroad tracks.  Western's campus was now comprised of 230 acres, including Waldo Stadium, Hyames Field, and 42 buildings.  A new Administration Building was completed in 1952, a symbolic and physical sign that the "heart" of campus was now on West Michigan Avenue.  The campus halves were officially known as "East Campus", and "West Campus".

bullet 1952 was also a pivotal year in Western's transition from a teacher's college to a university.  Authorized by the State Board of Education, Western initiated its first graduate program wholly independent of any other institution, a Master of the Arts in Teacher Education.  (A graduate degree had been offered in conjuction with University of Michigan since 1939.)  The new graduate program resulted in an increase in graduate enrollment from 194 in 1951 to 345 in 1952.  Western's first graduate degree would be awarded in 1953.

bullet While President Sangren was moving the institution forward and planning for the future, the past was very much in evidence on campus:  dozens of "temporary" housing structures for the returning World War II vets were still in use.  The vets caused an enrollment surge that more than doubled the student population in only one year.  1,840 students were enrolled in 1944, and 4,034 were enrolled in 1945.

bullet Enrollment would remain around 4,000 through the early 1950s.  The "temporary" housing would be replaced by the Elmwood Apartments (for married students).  The Davis and Zimmerman dormitories were also built.  The demand for faculty housing was met with the Hillside Apartments in 1948 (in addition to the houses already acquired on Walwood Place).

bullet Among the property acquisitions west of the railroad tracks was the Arcadia Club House from the Arcadia Golf Course, a 9-hole course located on the farm land surrounding The Oaklands.  The Club House was renovated in 1948 to provide a dining room and faculty club rooms.  As the Arcadia Cafeteria, it would serve West Campus for many years.

bullet Along Vande Giessen Road, the western edge of the new West Campus, was a second golf course, the Gateway Golf Course.  This would remain in operation until the early 60s, when the University acquired more properties on the north and west edges of campus to accommodate its continued growth.

Below are links to three different campus maps from 1952.

Campus Map
Click here to view 1952 Campus Map
"Campus Map" is the official printed map.  North is at the bottom of the map and south at the top.

Typed Map
Click here to view typed campus map
"Typed Map" is very likely the template or guide for printing the official College map for Fall classes.  It is dated 5-14-52 with the words "Effective September 1952".
The north direction is again at the bottom of the page and south at the top.

Cartoon Map
Click here to view map designed by John Kemper
"Cartoon Map" is another example of the work that John Kemper produced for Western. 
The map is oriented with north at the top of the page and south at the bottom. 
The campus buildings are drawn from a perspective, with warm touches added such as smoking chimneys, a crowded stadium, and campus buses.

 

 

 

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Western Michigan University
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campus-facility@wmich.edu

 

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