President’s Residence at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to undergo $15M rehab

The President's Residence at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. (Wikimedia Commons)

ANN ARBOR – The President’s Residence at the University of Michigan will undergo major renovations to the tune of $15 million.

The Board of Regents approved the project on Thursday, which will see upgrades to the building’s accessibility, security and safety features while preserving the home’s historical character, according to a release.

The President’s house is the oldest building on campus and is currently vacant. Built in 1840, it is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.

The regents plan to select the school’s 15th president this summer, and work on the building is slated to be completed by February 2023.

The project will not use taxpayer funding or tuition to fund the project. Instead, money will be taken from the university’s reserves, according to a release.

The President’s Residence serves two purposes -- as home of the president and their family and a venue, which hosts more than 70 events annually.

The original 4,800-square-foot building has been increased to 14,000 square feet over the years, having four additions built between 1864 and 1933.

Its 5,100-square-foot ground floor is a reception space where members of the university community gather for open houses, commencement activities, events honoring faculty members, special guests and more.

On the second and third floors is an additional 5,200 square feet of private living space.

According to a U-M release, the home has been in need of repairs for two decades. Its accessibility upgrades will include an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathroom on the ground floor, a new west entrance, a brand-new outdoor patio with ground-level ramp access, new exterior doors and a more streamlined connection between the patio and the sunroom.

Historical features that will be preserved throughout the home are its library with full-wall bookcases, moldings, hardwood flooring and other woodwork.

The private residence will receive a new, open kitchen and dining space.

Security updates will include updated fire detection, alarm and security systems as well as an updated fire suppression system.

The project will be designed by the U-M Department of Architecture, Engineering and Construction.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.