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Northwest Apartments


inner courtyard nw apartments.jpgOpened: 1967
Cost: $2.4 Million

In February 1967, the University began taking bids on the construction of a new married housing complex to be built at the northwest corner of campus. The apartments would be situated west of the railroad tracks and would be bordered on the north by M-20 and on the south by Bellows Street. Plans called for a 96-unit complex consisting of seven buildings, one of which would contain laundry facilities. The new apartments were scheduled to be completed in time for student use in fall of 1967 and were designed to replace the loss of married student housing in Preston Court, which was remodeled for single student use that summer. The $1,267,000 construction contract for the new Northwest Apartments was awarded to the Miller-Davis Company of Kalamazoo, which began the project in April 1967.

Although construction was scheduled for completion in time for fall, a strike among aluminum window workers delayed the project for several weeks. 48 units were opened for occupancy in September 1967, sixteen more were completed in October, and the remaining units were finished by November. By that time, the University had already announced a second, 100-unit complex to be built on the same site. Collinson Construction of Midland was awarded the $1,127,000 contract and construction was underway by October 1967. Construction was completed and the apartments were occupied by fall 1968.

Both the original 96-unit complex and the additional 100-unit complex were comprised of two-story townhouses, which provided students with a more homelike atmosphere than the dormitory-inspired apartments in Preston Court and Washington Court. Each unit had its own furnace to efficiently regulate heating. Unlike earlier married housing complexes, however, Northwest Apartments had communal laundry facilities. Northwest continues to house nontraditional students, faculty members, and students with families today.