Professors' Houses, Northwest Unit
- One of "four buildings for the use of the Professors of the University" which were the first structures built for the University on the campus.
- Built during late 1839 and early 1840.
- No architect indicated in the records, but the construction was supervised by Isaac Thompson and Harpin Lum, one of whom may have designed the houses.
- According to the original contract, each house cost $7,712.50 to build ($30,850.00 for all four).
- Net floor area: 4,800 square feet in each house.
- Used as a professor's home, 1840-1875.
- Shared by the Homeopathic Medical School and the School of Dentistry from 1875-1877.
- Used as a hospital and classroom building for the Homeopathic Medical School, 1875-1890; rear wing added in 1879.
- Used by the Homeopathic Medical School as classrooms only until 1914; building shared with the Department of Pathology from 1900-1903 and with the Department of Psychology from 1903-1914.
- Building removed in 1914 to make way for the Natural Sciences Building.
The early history of this building, one of the four Professors' Houses built in 1839-1840, closely parallels that of the President's House. The superintendent of construction for the first two houses to be built was Isaac Thompson, an associate of the first campus architect, Alexander J. Davis. However, in August of 1839, the contract to build the final two houses was given by the Regents to Harpin Lum. It is unclear from the surviving records whether Thompson, Davis, or Lum was responsible for the design of the four houses, though they were all similar in appearance and layout.
One of the houses was used temporarily as a library until the completion of Mason Hall. Each house was provided with a woodhouse, cistern and barn and their occupation by University faculty is documented as early as March, 1840. The earliest occupants of three of the houses were Professors Douglass Houghton, George Palmer Williams and Joseph Whiting. From October, 1843, until May, 1846, Governor Alpheus Felch resided in one of the houses. Various faculty inhabited the houses throughout the middle part of the 19th Century, though it is impossible to determine from the historical record who occupied which houses during a particular time period.
The northwestern Professor's House was first used for non-residential purposes in 1875, when the building was given over to the University's School of Dentistry and Homeopathic Medical School, both newly organized. By 1877 the Dental School had moved to the southeastern Professor's House, leaving the Homeopathic Medical School the sole occupant of the northwestern residence. In 1879 the Regents authorized the construction of a wooden wing on the rear of the residence, which served as the hospital ward for the School. In 1899 construction began on a new hospital building for the Homeopathic Medical School (the building now known as North Hall); upon its completion in 1900, the northwestern Professor's House was shared by the school with the Department of Pathology for three years and then, from 1903-1914, to the Department of Psychology. The building was razed in 1914 to facilitate construction of a new Natural Sciences Building.
- The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey; Walter A. Donnelly, Wilfred B. Shaw, and Ruth W. Gjelsness, editors; Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 1958
- Bentley Historical Library vertical file information card.