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Wayne State University\'s McGregor Memorial Conference Center among seven Michigan sites added to National Register of Historic Places

January 5, 2011


DETROIT- On Jan. 3, 2011, the State Historic Preservation Office announced the addition of seven Michigan sites to the National Register of Historic Places. Among them is a nationally significant, internationally recognized building on Wayne State University's campus that was designed by world-renowned Detroit architect Minoru Yamasaki.

Built in 1957-58, the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at 495 Ferry Mall on Wayne State University's main campus was financed by the McGregor Foundation as a gift to WSU for use as a community conference center. It was dedicated to the memory of philanthropists and foundation founders Tracy W. and Katherine Whitney McGregor.

The building marks the beginning of Yamasaki's international reputation as an architect and designer of a new type of modernism that strove for beauty and embraced the goals of richness of texture and form and a sense of peace and serenity through interior spatial arrangement and sensitive landscaping. Yamasaki is perhaps best known for designing the World Trade Center. The McGregor Memorial Conference Center was the first component of his substantial body of work for Wayne State University between 1956 and 1964, which included a master plan and three other campus buildings.

The Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board nominated the seven properties to the National Register of Historic Places in September 2010. In addition to the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, the others are:

The Lansing Artillery Michigan National Guard Armory, 330 Marshall St., Lansing

The John C. and Augusta (Covell) Lewis House, 324 S. Mears Ave., Whitehall

Griggs Brothers/Rochester Elevator Company Grain Elevator, 303 East University Drive, Rochester

The Pleasant Ridge Historic District (boundary increase), west of Ridge Road in Pleasant Ridge to the city limits of Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Oak Park and Ferndale

Saint Mary's School, 400 Congdon St., Chelsea

Hull's Trace North Huron River Corduroy Segment, west of Jefferson Avenue just north of Huron River, Brownstown Township

There are more than 1,800 Michigan listings in the National Register of Historic Places. In Michigan the national register is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office, which assists property owners with the nomination process. Properties are nominated by the State Historic Preservation Review Board, which meets three times a year. A national register designation makes the owners of income-producing properties eligible to apply for federal historic preservation tax credits for the rehabilitation of those properties. For information about the National Register of Historic Places in Michigan, visit

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about Wayne State University, visit