With the clock ticking for the decrepit Frieze Building and plans to build North Quad in its place moving forward, some Ann Arbor residents are not so willing to let the venerable Ann Arbor landmark be demolished. Thomas Scott, 81, led a rally in front of the Frieze last week in an attempt to conjure up support to preserve the historic building.
It is unfortunate that the University could not find a way to incorporate more of the current building into its design for North Quad. Although Chief Financial Officer Tim Slottow pulled the current design for revisions at the last minute before Friday’s regents meeting, University administrators have remained firm that only the Carnegie Library can be preserved. A new residence hall must take precedence, but the University should take advantage of its one last chance to incorporate some parts of the Frieze into the final plans. Even if the Frieze is already a lost cause, its razing should serve as an impetus to encourage restoration over demolition in future projects.
Constructed in 1905, the Frieze originally operated as a public high school until the University bought it in 1956. The building currently serves the University as the home for several academic departments and the University’s underground theater scene. For former Ann Arbor High School students and longtime Ann Arbor residents, the building is a testament to the past that adds to the character of the campus and city.
Preserving the attractive State Street fa