Opened Spring 1970
Cost: $1.43 million
The Joseph P. Carey Residence Hall is part of the Towers complex on the southeast end of campus, which houses more than 1400 students. It was designed by Roger Allen and Associates of Grand Rapids, who built many of Central Michigan University's buildings. It was the second building in the complex to open, following Troutman.
The Towers were partially based on student-designed blueprints. They were originally planned as a six-story complex on the north end of campus, where Northwest Apartments is now located. The site had to be changed, however, when engineers discovered that the ground was not stable enough to support the massive structures. Since shoring up the ground would have increased an already soaring budget, the University decided to build the complex on the other end of campus on newly-annexed land on Broomfield Road.
The new plans called for two seven-story and two nine-story buildings. Problems with Union Township delayed construction. The Township refused to extend sewer and water services in early 1968, which halted construction until the problems could be worked out.
Carey Hall was the first co-ed residence hall on campus. It had four floors of men and three of women. The first women to move in were refugees from the first Ronan Hall, which was torn down shortly before Carey opened. The hall was co-ed in 1970, housed only men from 1971-1973 and 1976-1978, and became co-ed permanently after 1978.
The hall was named for the head of the Geography Department from 1944 to 1956. Joseph Carey was born on January 4, 1886 in Isabella County. In 1911 he completed a two-year course at Central, then received his Bachelor of Science in 1915 at the University of Chicago. He taught school at St. Johns in Bay City; in Spokane, Washington; and in Isabella County. He left the area in 1916 to teach Geography at Eastern Illinois University, then returned to Mt. Pleasant in 1919 to run the Chatterton Elevator Company.
In 1925, he joined the faculty of Central as an assistant professor of Geography. He was head of the short-lived Aeronautics Department in 1943, then became head of Geography in 1944. He also chaired the Faculty Athletic Committee for twenty years. He also found time to return to the University of Chicago for his Master of Sciences in 1932.
Carey was the president of the Mt. Pleasant Board of Education, the chair of the City Planning Commission, and the executive secretary of the Michigan Oil and Gas Expo. He and his wife, Ida, had two sons and two daughters. He died in 1968.