The National Trust for Historic Preservation is begging Western Michigan University not to destroy history–its own, that of the Kalamazoo area, and that of higher education. There are four old buildings which represent the origins of the university which those who head up the school want to demolish. Here‘s an article that Mom clipped and mailed me. It was printed in the Kalamazoo Gazette on June 27, 2013.
I keep asking myself the question, “What kind of people want to destroy history?”
My family has graduated from Western Michigan University for four generations. As I explained in a previous post “Western State Normal School, Kalamazoo, Michigan: A Personal View,” my grandmother, L. Edna Mulder Zuidweg, graduated from the school when it was Western State Normal School, a teacher training school. Both my parents, my aunt, my brother, and yours truly also graduated from WMU. In addition, my husband graduated with a BBA degree, as well. And at least one member of the most recent generation–my cousin’s daughter– has graduated from Western.
Because my husband and I both got business degrees (I also majored in history and he did so in political science) in the late 70s, we spent a lot of time on the oldest section of the university–East Campus, which housed the business school.
If you follow this link you will read a good history of the old campus. They have some beautiful photos posted, too.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP FROM THE FRIENDS OF HISTORIC EAST CAMPUS WEBSITE:
1. Be an advocate for smart adaptive re-use! Tweet, display yard signs, display bumper stickers,write letters, TELL YOUR FRIENDS and ASK THEM TO HELP! ACT NOW. Click here for Action Plan
2. Join our “cast of thousands!”
Click here for details of our quest to post pix of you holding the Save East Campus sign for Youtube
3. Click here to get your printable pix-poster for Youtube video
4. Express your concerns to WMU’s Board of Trustees [go HERE to email the Board]
5. Express your concerns to elected officials:
Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker
State Representative Margaret O’Brien
State Representative Sean McCann
7. Sign a petition here
8. Write to news media in support of the FOHEC request for a moratorium and community input.
9. ASK: How much will taxpayers/students have to pay to demolish the buildings? How much will taxpayers/students have to pay to transport resulting debris to landfills? How much will taxpayers/students have to pay to pave over historic East Campus to create the proposed parking lot? How much does it all add up to?
10. ASK: How much will it cost to save the buildings and make a serious survey of ways they could be used to serve and educate students?