Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday photo

Final Demolition of Kresge Buildings, University of Michigan, July 2010.

I took this photo with my phone camera, since I didn't have the real camera with me last Friday and the building was gone when I returned Monday. The fuzzy look is due partly to the poor optics of the camera, but also because I was shooting through a mesh fabric that was strung along the chain link fence around the entire site. It's b/w because I didn't like the tint caused by that blue (it's always blue around here) mesh.

These were built as laboratory buildings, the first dating from 1954 when the hospital site was developing into the Medical Campus, a miniature city that now has a separate identity from the rest of the UM campus. At the time, lab space was scarce and growing scarcer as the medical fields outgrew the turn-of-the-century buildings on the Central Campus. Now they've become obsolete and expendable. Not that UM needs fewer labs -- UM still grows. They're being replaced by newer facilities, particularly the new North Campus Research Complex.

The plan is to turn the entire site into a park, which will radically alter the scenery here. The buildings crowded around so closely that you wouldn't know you were standing on a high bluff that once commanded excellent vistas across the Huron River valley to the northeast. You still can't see the river, because of the hospital complex and other buildings that block the view, but I welcome the sense of openness again. No doubt the real estate will prove too valuable to leave empty forever, but I'll enjoy it for awhile.

Here's where it's all happening:

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