U-M Reserve Officer Training Corps bids farewell to historic HQ

June 30, 2014
CDR Scott Howell, howellsb@umich.edu, (734) 764-1498, ROTC or ENS Andrew Best, abest@emich.edu, ROTC or Camilla Roper, roperc@umich.edu, (734) 764-1498, ROTC or Deborah Greene, greened@umich.edu, (734) 936-5190, U-M Public Affairs


DATE: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., Friday, July 11, 2014.

EVENT: The Navy, Army and Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps units at the University of Michigan will join together to formally decommission their legendary North Hall headquarters building. The U-M community and the general public are welcome to witness this historic ceremonial milestone.

PLACE: North Hall south lawn, 1105 North University Ave, Ann Arbor. Seating available; a tent will be set up in case of rain.

Brief keynote remarks by Captain Phil Klintworth, USN, Ret.; U-M alum, professor of naval science/chair of the Navy Officer Education Program, 1989–1991, will precede the formal military decommissioning ceremony. The event also will include an opportunity for U-M ROTC alumni to note the building’s significance. A reception will follow the event.

BACKGROUND: Built in 1899–1900, North Hall is the second-oldest occupied building at U-M, predated only by the President’s House, which was built in 1839–1840.

Built as the U-M Homeopathy Hospital, the impressive new structure incorporated all the modern appointments of the 20th Century’s first decade, from architectural details to attractive interior environments and a state-of-the-art air replacement and heating system.

When the study of homeopathy ceased at U-M in 1922, the Medical School appropriated the building as its South Department Hospital.

The building was rechristened North Hall and given to the Navy ROTC program in 1940, as declarations of war swept across Europe and the Far East, German U-boats threatened shipping lanes in the Atlantic, and the navy of Japan was gaining control of significant parts of the Pacific. The United States military was ramping up, and ROTC programs across the country were an important part of the effort.

After the war, the Army and Air Force ROTC programs joined NROTC at North Hall in the 1950s, a shared occupancy that has continued to this day, uninterrupted even by the incendiary focus of 1960s- and 1970s-era anti-war protesters.

Following the decommissioning, North Hall will be demolished to make way for the new 300,000 square-foot Biological Science Building.


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