Kathryn Horste

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The Michigan Law Quadrangle: Architecture and Origins is intended to combine elements of a history and a guidebook. For those students, alumni, and visitors to Ann Arbor who have long admired the sequestered spaces and the noble corridors ofthe Quadrangle, the book is meant to answer some ofthe many questions that come to mind about its historical styles and the significance of its rich decorations, as well as to serve as a ready source book for those encountering the Quadrangle for the first time. Chapters 2 and 3 recount the history of the Quadrangle as a construction project and the sometimes complicated dynamics among the donor (and alumnus) William Wilson Cook, the Law School, and the architects York & Sawyer. Based heavily on Cook's personal and business correspondence and on documents from the Office ofthe Dean of the Law School, this history is meant to reveal what the early parties to the inception of the building plan had in mind and how quickly the Quadrangle idea became concrete. The reader will see that the idea of the Quadrangle complex as a living/learning/professional environment evolved rapidly in the minds of all the principals and quickly became the unanimous goal. Chapters 2 and 3 are framed by two descriptive chapters that introduce the reader to the Quadrangle from the exterior and the interior respectively. This perspective allows readers and visitors alike to appreciate the multiple ways in which the architecture works its appeal. The viewer can perceive the whole as a beautifully sited and grouped arrangement of buildings and open spaces, as unparalleled examples of the collegiate Gothic style, and as the field for the endlessly inventive play of decorative work in stone and wood, plaster, brass, bronze, and stained glass. Because so many visitors have been, over the years, so drawn to particularly memorable details of the buildings and their decoration, it was decided early in the project that the book should be heavily illustrated. This book begins, then, with an architectural tour of the Law Quadrangle with references to historic buildings of the Gothic style that lie behind the forms and decorative artistry of this latter-day interpretation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License