In the early 1950s Western acquired 48 acres of land on the north side of West Michigan Avenue, adjacent to the Kalamazoo College athletic fields. By 1956 Western had built a new men's residence hall (Ellsworth Hall) and was constructing the Student Center. Three more residence halls were planned, with enclosed walkways connecting them to the dining rooms in the Student Center.
During the 50s and 60s half of Western's undergraduate students and about one-third of the graduate students lived on campus. Before World War II there was no family or married student housing on campus. After the War the returning service men and their families were accomodated in "temporary" barracks housing laid out in rows along Western Avenue. National trends showed that married student housing would continue to be needed, and the Elmwood Apartments, units A through Q, were built along Western Avenue between 1953 and 1957.
In addition to the Burnhams and the Draper-Siedschlag Residence Halls, built in 1948 and 1950, respectively, along Western Avenue. Davis Hall and the Food Service Building were completed in 1954 and Zimmerman Hall in 1955.