Alice B. Cowles House

Alice B. Cowles House (HM20O7)

Location: East Lansing, MI 48824 Ingham County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 44.006', W 84° 29.083'

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Side 1

The Alice B. Cowles House, built in 1857, is the oldest building on the Michigan State University campus. Built as a "Farm Cottage" on Faculty Row from bricks made of clay from the banks of the Red Cedar River, it was originally the official residence of the president of Michigan Agricultural College. After 1874 it was used as faculty housing, as Department of Education offices and as a residence for female students. In 1941 it again became the official home of the president. After World War II, it was remodeled using funds from the estate of alumnus Frederick Cowles Jenison and named for Jenison's mother, Alice B. Cowles. Jenison's grandfather, Albert Cowles, had been a student in the college's first class in 1857 and had helped gather the materials for the building.

Side 2

Cowles House was centrally located on the campus of the nation's oldest land grant institution, Michigan Agricultural College. Constructed in 1857, it was one of four cottages, designed by architect J. J. Scott of Toledo, Ohio, to house college faculty and their families. Joseph R. Williams, president from 1857 to 1859, was its first resident. In 1874 a new house on the site now occupied by Gilchrist Hall became the president's residence and Professor William James Beal moved into Cowles House with
his wife Hannah and daughter Jessie. A pioneer botanist, Beal is credited with the first documented account of hybrid corn experimentation. Due to the many modifications of Cowles House over the years, only the stone foundation and two walls of the original structure remain visible.
HM NumberHM20O7
Series This marker is part of the Michigan: Michigan Historical Commission series
Year Placed1988
Placed ByBureau of History, Department of State
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, August 12th, 2017 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 705905 N 4734281
Decimal Degrees42.73343333, -84.48471667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 44.006', W 84° 29.083'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 44' 0.36000000000001" N, 84° 29' 4.9799999999999" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)517
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , East Lansing MI 48824, US
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