The Law School Quad

The Law Quadrangle

William W. Cook's vision for the Law School was nearing realization in 1930 as the Quadrangle was completed with construction of the Legal Research Building.

William W. Cook

William W. Cook was the benefactor who built the four buildings of the Law Quadrangle. A graduate of the Law School, Class of 1882, Cook amassed a fortune as a Wall Street lawyer. Though he followed the design and construction process with concern for the smallest detail, Cook died in 1930 without ever visiting Ann Arbor to see what his gift had wrought. This image is of a bust molded from his death mask, as he would not pose for photographs during his life.


The Lawyer's Club

The Lawyers' Club--a dormitory and dining hall for law students--was the first building on the Law Quad.


The Legal Research Building

The reading room of the Legal Research Building.


The Law Library Expands

library library

In the 1970s, when many of the books in the Law Library were inaccessible due to space constraints, it was not financially possible to build an addition in the ornate Gothic style of the extant Law Quad. Gunnar Birkerts, an architect from Birmingham, Michigan, was hired to solve the problem of integrating the new addition with the old Legal Research Building. Below are images from the construction of the underground addition, which is three floors deep, and lit by a large glass moat that brings light and reflections of the original Gothic structure to each level.

Image Citation: Box 117, Folder: Photographs, Construction of Law Library Addition, Law School (University of Michigan) records, 1852-1994, Bentley Historical Library.

These these two photographs are just a small sample from the Gunnar Birkerts collection. The Bentley Library is the repository for the architectural drawings, photographs, and papers of Mr. Birkerts.