In the 1898 panorama above, campus buildings had not yet reached this corner. The School of Engineering and its shops can be seen in the distance. Cousins and Hall greenhouses and florist shop occupied most of the first block across South University, which was then an unpaved boulevard. Houses lined the avenues surrounding campus as well as both sides of South University all the way to Washtenaw Avenue. (See 1880 birdseye at right.)
Over the next 25 years, the neighborhood changed dramatically as buildings filled the original 40-acre campus and expanded beyond. In 1904 the new Engineering Building with a pedestrian archway was added at this end of the diagonal walk. Houses on South University were replaced by Martha Cook dormitory for women in 1915 and by the Law Quadrangle in 1924. The site of the greenhouses became the athletic field for University High School (later the School of Education), built on East University in 1924. Ann Arbor's second apartment house, the Anberay, was built across the street the year before.
John MacGregor's grocery, the first commercial structure on this block, was built on this corner in 1908. Eight years later shops lined both sides of South University as far as the next corner. Houses on East University (far right in the panorama) were replaced in 1923 by the East Engineering Building.
Sponsored in the memory of Fred C. Ulrich
Photos courtesy of Bob MacGregor, Marjorie O'Brien, and the Bentley Historical Library