OT: the history of the Burton Memorial Tower
Michigan's first AD, in fact maybe the greatest AD of all time and also perhaps the first AD in the nation, donated the money to build it because he felt bad leaving the job to take over his in-laws' banking empire in K.C.
I was a freshman that year, and had walked out of MLB, headed back to my room at South Quad, not five minutes before it happened. When I got back to the dorm, rumors were already spreading that someone had jumped.
I was not quite college aged yet, but I remember this as well because we had a neighbor that worked for the Observer & Eccentric, one of the papers owned by Phil Power's company at the time (Suburban Communications Corporation, I think - I remember it was in Livonia). They heard about it fairly quickly as well.
one of my housemates was walking to the MLB. He thought someone had been shot.
One of those iconic landmarks that always just "was" - never really thought anything about it or its history until reading that article.
Interesting. Thanks for the link. I always thought the stops on the window were for safety, but I didn't know there had been an incident.
This is really interseting. I had a lot of professors who had their offices in Burton Tower, but I only ever actually went in there once while I was at UM.
I had a discussion section that met in the one classroom on the top. We met for 4-5 times until the GSI got fed up with the location and moved us to LORCH.
I had a class in the tower, and discussion sections for 2 more. So I was going there fairly often for a little while. I always took the elevator up and walked down.
I too recall Regent Power jumping off the tower in 1987 during my sophomore year. I had a class the hour before at MLB, and walked by again later in the day after I heard the news. There were a number or memorial tributes at the site, but not much more than that was said.
I remember my first big erection on campus...
"but not its best big erection..."
That distinction goes at David Terrell, at least according to him.
Who's got the B.A.D.?
and I was in the MLB at the time she jumped. By the time class let out the only telltale sign anything happened was a bunch of sand and a few flowers. It was pretty sad. FWIW, I believe the Power Center is named for Sarah Power's dad (someone can correct me if I'm wrong.) The family had strong ties to the University and as mentioned elsewhere, she was a Regent at the time she jumped.
As for the tower itself, I had a class in there and remember being surprised at the size of the room as it was larger than I anticipated.
Her husband, Phil, was the son of the Power Center people, and ended up taking her seat as a regent for over a decade.
One of the many Crown Jewels to be found on campus.
My grandfather was the men's counselor at the University Health Service during the 30s, 40s and 50s. He was essentially the school psychologist and dealt with many troubled students. On at least one occasion, he was called to the tower to dissuade a student from jumping. Apparently he succeeded, though he was very reluctant to discuss specifics from his job to preserve confidentiality.
As a student bus driver during mid 1970s, I had a couple tours of the tower; definately a unique space. Before and between bus runs, busses would wait between the tower and the Michigan League.
Through that same campus job, I had the opportunity to meet Regent Sarah Power, who I found to be a gracious and engaged Regent. It was very sad to hear of her passing a decade later.
This article is somewhat confusing since there are no image captions, but the image file description is that this was Kahn's first design concept:
That would have been awesome.
Thanks for sharing this! I did not know Kahn designed it. That man was prolific.
I remember going with my parents as a kid to buy tickets for UMS events in the small ticket office inside the tower. Also remember having a class in the MLB right next to the tower during that met right when the carillon concert took place on Fridays. Couldn't hear a damn thing for a full half hour.
There's a weird legend that goes around MMB circles, which no one seems to be able to 100% confirm, that there were plans to build the Music School right behind Hill where the MLB eventually went, but it was taken to North Campus instead because of some weird deal involving William D. Revelli and some land he had shrewdly purchased. The idea was to have a sort of music empire with Hill, Burton, and the proposed building.
In the early 90's I was taken on a tour of the actual Carillon (the top floor). I was surprised that the GM Headquarters, the spires of the Bridge to Canada, and 2 or 3 other tall buildings were clearly visable from up there.