Michigan and the Great Lakes

The Michigan Law Quadrangle

Architecture and Origins
Kathryn Horste
A delightful guidebook to one of Michigan's architectural gems


The Michigan Law Quadrangle: Architecture and Origins offers the reader an engaging armchair tour of one of the gems of American academic architecture. Newcomers to this handsome set of buildings and habitués of its noble halls alike will find in author Kathryn Horste a discerning and instructive guide. Her observations, together with the more than sixty photographs commissioned to illustrate them, provide a new and memorable encounter with the Michigan Law Quad.

Horste starts us off with an examination of the buildings' exteriors, their arrangement and aesthetic impact, and an appreciation of the historical resonances freely, at times whimsically, employed by master architects at the top of their form. The mid-portion of her work traces the history of the extraordinary gift of these buildings to a public university by one fiercely devoted and thoroughly committed alumnus and places the rich, if not always serene, interplay of donor, institution, and architect in a new light. She broadens her study with an overview of the development of the quadrangle's architects, the firm York & Sawyer, in the full maturity of the American Beaux Arts school.

Her text concludes with a comprehensive amble through the quadrangle's elegant interiors. From their most imposing spaces to some of their most charming details, these buildings, which have for more than seventy years at once served and inspired successive generations of students and professors, are given their due. Both text and photographs are particularly successful in capturing the buildings' wealth of worksmanship in metal, wood, glass, stone, and plaster by artisans whose craft, now nearly extinct, was near its last flowering when the quad was built. Yet the wedding of a strikingly modern addition, below ground, to the rich, traditional buildings original to the complex emerges as a remarkable achievement that extends and amplifies the integrity of the quad.

The Michigan Law Quadrangle: Architecture and Origins explores one of Michigan's most interesting architectural sites from a broad perspective that enlivens the mind and educates the eye.

Kathryn Horste is an independent scholar living in Ann Arbor. She holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, and she has been a member of the faculty at Colgate University. From 1987 to 1990 she served as Collection Development Specialist at the Getty Research Institute. Her publications include Cloister Design and Monastic Reform in Toulouse: The Romanesque Sculpture of La Daurade.

Gary Quesada, who was commissioned to photograph the University of Michigan Law Quad for this book, began his career as a protégé of noted architectural photographer Balthazar Korab, with whom he has subsequently had a long professional association. In recent years Mr. Quesada undertook legal studies; he now holds a J.D. and combines the practice of law in Royal Oak, Michigan, with photographic assignments for the Korab-Hedrich-Blessing studio, Troy, Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • "If you collect books about the [University of Michigan], then this book, with its many beautiful color photographs, is one you'll want to make a permanent part of your library."
    Michigan Alumnus

Product Details

  • 7 x 10.
  • 160pp.
  • 80 color and black and white photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1997
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10749-0

Add to Cart
  • $37.50 U.S.