December 08, 2020

The Catherine Street hospitals: The start of the modern University of Michigan medical campus

A look back at a December 1891 milestone in the 150-year history of our academic medical center

Catherine Street hospitals

This image, taken from Ann Street, shows the two hospital buildings in the last phases of construction, with wood-plank sidewalks in front

This week in 1891, two massive new brick buildings opened on Catherine Street in Ann Arbor, ushering in a new era of U-M medical care.

The new hospitals replaced the crowded, wood-frame one that we had opened in a former professor's house on North University Ave. in December 1869, and expanded in the 1870s. Moving medical care from the main U-M Diag to this site a few blocks north created a more fitting home for one of the nation's first academic medical centers.