WMU Campus History
Navigation Bar WMU Home Page WMU Campus History Home Page WMU Campus Master Plan Home Page Planning Division Home Page Facilities Management Home Page Contact Campus Planning

Henry J. Beukema : Campus Map Designer

Back to Trivia Page

* Henry J. Beukema, professor emeritus of engineering graphics at Western Michigan University, died Nov. 23 in Kalamazoo. He was 90.

Beukema retired in 1977, after 35 years of teaching at WMU. Prior to teaching at the University, he taught industrial education at high schools in Algonac and Grand Haven, Mich., and he had an active career in industry, having worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as a number of manufacturing companies.

He was the co-author of more than a dozen high school and college textbooks and workbooks in the fields of engineering graphics and welding technology. Active in a number of professional organizations, he served on the boards of the Kalamazoo Engineering Society and the Michigan Industrial and Technology Education Society.

* from the December 9, 2005, "WMU News", Office of University Relations

1952 map signature

1956 map signature

1962 map signature
The 1962 graphic signature forms the silhouette of the T-square, one of the primary drafting tools for architects, engineers, and designers.

Detail from 1952 campus map
The above detail from the 1952 campus map displays the irregularities of hand-drafting and 'cut-and-paste' assembly.  Note the wavy nature of the lines for the railroad tracks and the stadium yardlines.  Most of the text and building numbers were typed, cut out, and pasted onto the drawing.  The label on building #12 is hand-lettered, but also cut-and-pasted.  The map is drawn in 'plan view', with building and road silhouettes only and no structural or aesthetic details.

The 1952 campus map was included in a Western Michigan College brochure, and would have been mass-produced by the technology of the time, such as offset printing.

North arrow from 1962 campus map
North arrow 1962 map

North arrow from 1957 campus map
North arrow 1957 map

Detail from 1959 campus map
This 1959 campus map has a polished, commercial quality.  The buildings are drawn in 'plan view' with no dimensions, but the north arrow and the Beukema signature are both unique and stylized.

Detail from 1956 campus map
This 1956 campus map is drawn in orthographic projection, with structures drawn in three dimensions.   The realistic appearance is enhanced by building shadowing and structural details.

Detail from 1962 campus map
This detail from a 1962 map and brochure is an orthographic projection with sophisticated building details and shadow patterning.  In addition to the use of color, the grounds and landscaping are indicated by stylized bushes, trees, and flower beds.

Detail from 1959 campus map
The above detail, from a campus map that was part of a mass-produced 1959-60 pamphlet, has several graphic features that reveal its 'hand-drafted' origins.  The lower-case letters identifying individual buildings under #23 are obviously cut and pasted onto the drawing.  Faint guidelines are visible in several places such as along the street in front of #10.  Below #9 is a clear example of overlapped intersecting lines.  This is a common hand-drafting technique to achieve a crisp corner, and to add visual interest to a drawing.