Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

“The Big House” Michigan Stadium (1927)

Bernard Green (UM Eng.  1891) of Osborn Engineering,  Chief Architect

1201 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI

Aerial View and Directions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visited September 15, 2012 (Michigan 63, Massachusetts 13) and September 17, 2011 (Michigan 31, Eastern Michigan 3)

I am including this post of The Big House not because it is a particularily exceptional building aesthetically, or because it is worth going out of your way to view it on an average day. I am posting this because Michigan Stadium is the largest college stadium in the nation ( 109,901 official capacity, largest crowd has been 114,804 in 2011), and has been part of a grand tradition in Ann Arbor since it was built 1927. The Stadium is usually locked up 358 days a year, and the field and seats are mostly below grade and not visible from outside the fence. But if you are one of the lucky 110,000 or so on each of the 7 days it is open for a home game annually, you will experience an event unlike any other in college football. Here the building is not the star, the football game is, and this building facilitates the event in a “big” way.

I am also posting the photos because I have been extremely lucky to have been invited to a few games in one of the suites which were added in a recent renovation. I have always wondered what the suites were like inside, so I thought I would snap a few photos to share them with those interested. Although the focus is clearly on the game, the suites are very comfortable, and you never know who you may run into, including a former coach…

After the game we went to Lena’s for dinner.

History of the Stadium

4 responses

  1. Meg

    Wow I didn’t know that most of the seats are below grade. Looks like it was a great day. Do you know who did the renovation?

    October 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    • HNTB Architecture with the assistance of Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects were the architects of the renovation. Here is an elevation drawing showing the south elevation ( Stadium Blvd. ). http://www.umich.edu/stadium/project-description/regents/S-Elev-Out-Bldg.jpg . To the left (west) is Main Street. The brick structure containing the suites and expanded press box is new. A much smaller press box was all that was above the top row of seats. To the right (east) is Crisler Area where grade dips down to the “tunnel” entrance to the field.

      October 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      • if you go to Google Maps and place the streetview icon right on the corner of South Main and Stadium Blvd and look to the northeast…you will see how unassuming the stadium is from the exterior- especially as the photos have not been updated since the suites were constructed.

        October 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM

  2. Pingback: Lena – Ann Arbor MI « traverse360 restaurants

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s