Historic firehouse is new home for the expanded UDM law school clinics
The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law recently purchased the historic Engine No. 2 firehouse on Larned Street, just down the block from UDM’s Riverfront Campus, to house its 10 legal aid clinics.
The building was purchased from heirs of Walter Buhl Ford III at a reduced price in light of the intended use. The lead gift was made by UDM alumnus Anthony Asher ’61, ’65 of Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton PC, of Southfield. (See related article.) The 100-year-old brick building is being renovated with additional funding from the McGregor Fund. Architectural fees were paid for by an anonymous donor.
The firehouse was built in the early 1900s and served as the base for the Detroit Fire Department’s Engine No. 2 for many years. Although the building was used for many other purposes after it was sold by DFD, its historic character was preserved through spiral staircases, exterior red fire doors, and a lookout tower. UDM Law will enhance this historic theme in its design plans.
With the purchase and renovation, School of Law Dean Lloyd Semple adheres to UDM’s values of sustainability and preservation. The law school at Dowling Hall has undergone $8 million in renovations, thanks in large part to many alumni and friends of the law school. Together, these buildings serve as historic landmarks for the study of law and access to legal assistance.
C. Michael Bryce, director of the Clinical Program, says, “We are committed to students learning how to be lawyers by giving assistance to the less fortunate. With the addition of this wonderful legacy building, even greater assistance will be provided to the community.”
The repurposed building is expected to open in December 2012 as the new George J. Asher Law Clinic Center in the Walter Buhl Ford III Hall.
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