Ann Arbor Built Environment


May 2006 — June 2006

DKE Shant

Graduate and undergraduate students in my Spring 2006 course Historic Preservation and Urban Conservation conducted a measured drawings project on the Delta Kappa Epsilon Shant, a ceremonial fraternity meeting house located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, near the University of Michigan campus.

The DKE Shant was designed in 1876 by pioneering Chicago School architect William LeBaron Jenney during his brief tenure as an architecture faculty member in the U-M School of Engineering and construction was completed in 1878. While Jenney was renowned for his steel frame designs, this is a brick masonry structure in an eclectic Victorian Gothic style. It includes such features as a pointed-arch front door and windows, as well as a detailed cornice with features that make reference to the Presbyterian church across the street.

Delta Kappa Epsilon was one of the leading fraternities at Michigan and supported both a residence and this meeting house, which was the site of ceremonies and excluded women from the premises until the 1970s. Former President Gerald Ford is among the notable alumni of this chapter of DKE who participated in ceremonies within the meeting house.

July 2006 — December 2006

In my masters thesis I also employed CAD documentation with the help of a research assistant, this time on the block level, to illustrate change in the built environment over the 20th century. With recent developments in architectural documentation, such as Revit at the professional level and Google Sketchup at the entry level, historians will be able to participate in the visual culture of their communities.

Thompson Block Cluster 1925

Thompson Block Cluster 1948

Thompson Block Cluster 1980

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