Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research

Simpson 1 Simpson 2
Facade
Detail of Corinthian pilaster
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There are so many remarkable buildings on the University of Michigan campus that it is easy to miss the fine architectural details of some of its less famous edifices. One building that should not be passed by without an appreciation of its ornate facade is the Thomas Henry Simpson Memorial Institute for Medical Research on Observatory Street. Built in 1926 by the famous architect Albert Kahn, who was responsible for several other buildings on campus, the Simpson Memorial Institute has a neoclassical facade of granite that resembles a flattened temple entrance to a Greco-Roman temple – with its four exquisitely detailed Corinthian pilasters marking a central portal and the block letter inscription on its entablature that spans the width of the facade. The neoclassical architectural embellishment is fitting for a building that doubles as a living memorial to Thomas Henry Simpson, whose wife donated the structure to the University in order to find a cure for the blood disorder (pernicious anemia) that took her husband prematurely.

Architect: Albert Kahn

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