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PLANs and DescripTIONS of Union School House, Ypsilanti, Michigan.
This edifice stands in the center of a beautiful square in the central part of the city of Ypsilanti, one of the most attractive, healthy and flourishing towns in the State of Michigan. The building has a transept of 120 feet and a depth through the transept of 95 feet, and through the end compartments of 68 feet. The first story of the building which is 20 feet high in the clear, contains a large room, 90 by 45 feet, used for public exercises, chapel, &c., sour primary school rooms, with necessary clothes rooms, and two main transverse corridors, running entirely through the building, each 12 feet wide. The large room is a clear and uninterrupted space, without column or pillar of any kind to intercept the view.
The second story contains one class room 45 by 41 feet--two other class rooms, each 41 by 22 feet, four recitation rooms, library, apparatus room and necessary clothes room. In this story the main corridor, 8 feet wide, runs longitudinally through the building, lighted at each end by a triplet window.
The third story contains one class room 45 by 41 feet, one do. 35 1-2 by 28 1-2 feet, two do. each 45 by 22 feet, three recitation rooms, suit of rooms for janitor's residence, clothes rooins, corridors, &c., the latter being arranged as in the second story. The second and third stories are each 16 feet high in the clear. The first story is raised 6 feet above the level of lot, leaving a lofty basement story under which will be occupied by heating apparatus, storage and fuel rooms.
The elevation is designed in the Italian style of architecture, and can be sufficiently understood by the accompanying engraving. The quoins in the corners, the window and door caps and sills, the cornice, the architave mouldings, belt courses, &c., are finished in imitation of brown free stone,-the remainder of the work being of hand pressed brick.
There are several advantages claimed in the plan of this Union School. In the first place the large room or chapel is placed in the first, instead of as is usual, in the third or upper story. This is infinitely more convenient and safe, than it is to require an entire congregation at commencement or other exercises, to climb up to the top of a high building. It is also more desirable, as the infant children can be taken into the room on all oceasions, without danger to them, which in ordinary cases, tutors are afraid to do. In this plan it will be seen that the infant children have access to their school room by side doors, independent of the main halls which are used by the older scholars, also a very desirable arrangement. The entire separation of the sexes in the access to, and egress from, the school is secured, and yet by the interior arrangement of the rooms they can unite when required during their studies, and separate again to their respective class rooms without confusion or inconvenience. Constructively also it has several advantages. Requiring strong interior walls, there is ample opportunity for carrying up the warm air and ventilating fues in them, instead of in outside walls, thereby securing more sure and constant action of the air in the flues, both injecting and ejecting, and removing all doubt as to their proper action. The doors to all rooms are made with a swinging panel over the transom, so that in the warm weather, by opening these, and the windows of balls and rooms, a constant change of air is gained. The exterior walls are all hollow and plastered into the brick work. The staircases are wide and easy to ascend, giving ample opportunity to discharge the entire number of scholars in a few seconds of time.
The plans have been originated, matured and carried out, by Messrs. Jordan Anderson of Detroit, Michigan.