Starkweather Hall records
Scope and Contents
The Starkweather Hall records contain materials relating to the construction and dedication of Mary Ann Starkweather Hall on the campus of the Michigan State Normal College from 1895-1897, as well as subsequent materials such as correspondence, brochures, clippings, published articles, and drawings and photographs that document the history of the building.
The Starkweather Hall records are divided into two series: Building history and Published history. The Building history series includes the initial legal documents that allowed the Student Christian Association to accept the Mary Ann Starkweather donation and construct the building, as well as the construction, budget, and dedication materials. There are also correspondence materials relating to the later history of the building, a survey of Starkweather Hall and its uses from 1948-1949 and the National Register of Historic Places materials from the 1977 dedication.
The Published history series includes newspaper clippings and web print-outs from 1907 to 2010, as well as articles and handouts, programs, documents from a student paper on Starkweather Hall, and drawings and photographs (both black and white photographs and prints of digital images).
- 1895 - 2010
Conditions Governing Access
Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to use through the University Archives.
The Student Christian Association (SCA) was first organized in 1853, the same year Michigan State Normal School opened. Over the next forty years, the SCA continued to grow and by 1892 its members were looking for new housing and asked Mary Anne Starkweather, a local philanthropist, for funds to help erect a building of their own. Ms. Starkweather had planned to donate $10,000 to Normal for a new science facility in her will. Following the appeal of the Student Christian Association, however, she offered to fund their building instead. The Student Christian Association building was named for its benefactress.
Michigan State Normal College was the first teachers college in the United States to have a building designated for religious activities. Starkweather Hall, as it came to be known, was fully outfitted for the students. The first floor contained rooms for receptions or dining, a dressing room, a library, and a few classrooms. These rooms were separated by rolling partitions that could by opened to enlarge the space. A kitchen was also installed so that students could cook meals for the dining area. Upstairs, plans called for a large assembly room and a “keeper’s room” rented to a student who looked after the building. All of the hardware was made especially for the building. Today original doorknobs remain in certain parts of the building, bearing the in initials of the Student Christian Association (SCA). In 1961, the building was renovated to improve access. Meeting rooms, another assembly room, and a library-lounge were also added. The north entrance, an archway like the western doorway, was converted into a window and one of the chimneys was removed. In 1977, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The SCA disbanded in the 1920s and the building remained a gathering place for religious organizations until 1976 when the Office of Religious Affairs was dissolved. The building is now operated but the University and home to the Office of Research and Development, and the Honors College.
3.5 Linear Feet (1 halfsize archive box, 1 oversize box, 2 clam shell boxes, 3 oversize folders)
Language of Materials
Starkweather Hall is the oldest building on Eastern Michigan University's campus, having been built between 1895-1896 and dedicated in 1897. Mary Ann Starkweather, a local philanthropist, donated the funds to erect the building on behalf of the Student Christian Association (SCA). Operation of the building was later transferred to the Office of Religious Life, which dissolved in 1976. The Starkweather Hall records contain materials relating to the construction and dedication of Mary Ann Starkweather Hall at Michigan State Normal College from 1895-1897, as well as subsequent materials such as correspondence, brochures, clippings, published articles, and drawings and photographs that document the history of the building.
- Starkweather Hall records
- Mary Ann Starkweather Hall records
- Courtney Dornburg, Natalie Morath
- 2012 January 12
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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