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Lester K. Kirk Collegiate Center

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1962, Meathe, Kessler and Associates. S. Main St. between Cottage and College sts.
  • Lester K. Kirk Collegiate Center, Olivet College (Balthazar Korab)
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)

The delicate precast- and reinforced-concrete and glass student activities center nestles in a clearing on the otherwise wooded campus. Imitative form and innovative technology are its hallmarks. The building's slender vertical support columns rise out of the ground and branch out to support the roof slabs in a cantilevered manner. Expansive curtain walls of plate glass and aluminum framing make the natural and historic beauty of the surrounding campus easily visible. And, yet, the building in its white classical formality is elevated slightly and is set apart from its surroundings. In 1989 the American Institute of Architects Detroit Chapter gave its 25-Year Award to the Olivet Student Center to acknowledge that this outstanding design has retained its originality and relevance over time.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Lester K. Kirk Collegiate Center", [Olivet, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 303-303.

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