Heritage Hall Alumni Center


East Hall, built in 1903, was the first building erected on Western Michigan University’s campus, and served the University well for a almost century. The deteriorating structure was renovated in 2016 to create the award-winning Heritage Hall Alumni Center, bringing new life to this iconic building. The new wing additions reflect the existing look and feel of the original East Hall, mimicking the identifying features of the historic structure, creating a cohesive mix of new and old.

The Alumni Center was designed to:

    Serve as a home for all alumni.
  • Showcase the birthplace of the University.
  • Serve as a touchstone for the WMU experience.
  • Be a community asset.
  • Offer flexible and multipurpose gathering spaces to the community.
  • Illustrate the University's commitment to sustainability.
  • Be a resource center that houses artifacts, pictures and remembrances that are important to the University’s rich history.
This LEED Platinum project focused on reclaiming existing materials, using locally-sourced new materials and incorporating geothermal heating, among other sustainable practices. The team carefully salvaged bricks, radiators, handrails, decorative cornices, fireplaces and other architectural elements from the existing building that were reused in the new construction. The renovation also included metal restoration, painting, masonry work and a complete facade facelift.  A new platform patio to the east of the building affords arguably one of the best views of downtown Kalamazoo from atop the hill--watching the sun rise from that vantage point is worthy of a place on one's bucket list.

In addition to the work on East Hall, the portico of North Hall, which was positioned just north of East Hall, was preserved to become a landscape focal point, and the lawn between the two structures has become an iconic site for events both public and private.