Old Main Hospital Arch


Albert Kahn (designer); sculptor unknown
1925; Limestone; Architectural Artifact
Gone; Originally on front (south) side of Old Main Hospital’s Administration Wing

Designed by noted Detroit architect Albert Kahn, the new University Hospital opened in 1925. At the time it was the largest university-owned hospital in the U.S. It was in the form of a double Y, and in front of that (connected by corridors) stood the Administration Building, which provided the front focal point facing on Observatory and Ann Streets. The main entrance was surrounded by a decorative arch featuring many carved stone images, including floral motifs, vases or bowls, and profiles of men. Above the arch were the seals of the State of Michigan and the University of Michigan, and above that the legend “University Hospital.” Although designed by Kahn, the sculptor who actually executed the reliefs is unknown. After a newer University Hospital opened in 1986, the old structure, by then known as “Old Main,” was slated for demolition, which occurred in 1989. At the urging of the regents, the entrance arch was dismantled and stored for possible future installation somewhere near the site of Old Main. Old Main’s arch currently remains in storage.