Heritage Hall is home to Western Michigan University’s Alumni Center. Renovated in 2015 to house the WMU Office of Development and Alumni Relations, the building also established a standalone Alumni Center, and created a space for both the Southwest Michigan and WMU communities to gather.
The center features displays highlighting the University’s storied history, starting as Western State Normal School, a teacher’s training facility, in 1903. Check out the trolley replica on the second floor, learn about all-things WMU, and play around with the interactive display in the cafe.
Widely recognized as the birthplace of the University, the 53,000-square-foot building is a tangible example of both Kalamazoo's and WMU’s commitment to community and education. In 1903, the area where the building sits, a 20-acre site overlooking the city, was offered by the citizens of Kalamazoo as a place for the new Western State Normal School. At the time, Kalamazoo was in fierce competition with nearly two dozen other cities across West Michigan, and needed to catch the attention of the Michigan Legislature. Kalamazoo was ultimately selected for the school, and the building, which sits atop Prospect Hill, was completed in 1905.
Over the years, the building was known by a variety of names, such as the Administration Building and the Education Building. By 1967 it was identified on campus maps as East Hall. The building remained in active service as a teaching facility until 1990 and then was home to art studios until the early 2000s.
Heritage Hall has been recognized as a state-of-the-art example for the energy efficient transformation of historical buildings. The effort led to the building becoming the only LEED-Platinum certified building on WMU’s campus.
Other recognitions include:
- The National Demolition Association Magazine (December, 2016), pages 14 -19 View story here
- The Governor's Energy Excellence Award: Best Public Project
- The Association of University Interior Designers: Third place award for renovation over $500,000
- The Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter (ABC/WMC) 30th Annual Excellence in Construction Awards: Christman Company
- The American Institute of Architects Southwest Michigan Chapter Honor Award: TowerPinkster