Ann Arbor News columnist Judy McGovern mentions efforts by graduates of the old Ann Arbor high school to preserve the Frieze Building in a recent column. She quotes from an article the class has sent to U-M presidents since the Bollinger days:
“Those of us interested in preserving the integrity of Ann Arbor streetscapes and the university campus would be pleased if you would enquire about this situation and bring us up to date as to the possibility of maintaining and preserving this important building.”
While Ann Arbor Sucks is sarcastic, I do agree with the class of ’51 – the Frieze Building is the only campus building I know of that the University seems to have decided isn’t worth repairing, painting, or maintaining in any way. Paint on external trip is badly blistered, in many places peeled down to bare wood. The antiquated heating system is so inadequate some professors use space-heaters in their offices for much of the year. And most of a second-floor men’s room was out of service for a period of months when I took a class nearby last year. Budget cuts aside, the University has not let any other campus building I know of deteriorate to such a pathetic state (except perhaps the Chinese Studies Center across the street) – and I believe it’s because of a conscious plan of university officials to wear the building out to such an extent they can deck it without protest and build some sort of MLB-like modernist monstrosity. Would it cost more to maintain and rennovate the Frieze Building? Probably. Would it be worth it? In my opinion, yes.
(Thanks to AASux who found the column and once again proves she has more patience navigating MLive than I)