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Posted on Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

How did you decorate your University of Michigan dorm room?

By Kellie Woodhouse


Melanie Maxwell I

Remember your dorm room?

Was it crammed with junk? What kind of posters did you put on the wall? Family pictures? Did you keep it messy or clean?

With nearly $500 million in renovations going into University of Michigan dormitories over the course of seven years, college residence halls are slowly taking on a rather sophisticated, grand look.

But when you go into the student rooms, you find that students still decorate largely the same: With posters, pictures and other knickknacks that remind them of home, family and friends. thought we'd take the opportunity to see how students decorated their rooms over time. We found images dating back to the 1800s. We have to say, we like their style.


Off-campus student housing between 1890 and 1910.

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

Two U-M students in an off-campus dorm room sometime between 1890 and 1910.


University of Michigan students in an apartment in 1902.

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

A group of U-M students in student housing at 517 Washington Street in Ann Arbor in the spring of 1902.


Two University of Michigan students in a dorm room circa 1940.

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

Two U-M students in their West Quadrangle dorm room in the 1940s. The Thompson Street dorm, built in 1939, was the second all-male residence hall at U-M and became co-ed 30 years later.


Photo courtesy of University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

A University of Michigan student in her dorm room in 1980.

Read previous Michigan Memories stories:

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Sun, Feb 5, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

I had Snoopy and Lucy posters. My roommate had William Shatner posters. She LOVED Star Trek. We also had an electric popcorn popper where we toasted bagels.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 9 p.m.

Farah Fawcett posters. Everybody had one so we had two in our room. I think almost every room had at least one.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Based on the photo circa 1890-1910, it appears that off-campus student housing has always been substandard, as evidenced by the cracks and water stains just below the ceiling.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

A Shaun Cassidy poster. Did I really just admit that??!! I think my room mate had a Bay City Rollers poster. My room was pretty much just the essentials. All that I took to college fit in a clothes bakset and a tote bag.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

I had an Isiah Thomas Poster, my roommate had a Michael Jordan poster, and we also had a penthouse centerfold on one wall that made my roommate's mom very mad. 3rd Rotvig in Bursley.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

Ol' 210 Rumsey was adorned with both the prism poster and the green pyramid poster from Dark Side of the Moon. One on each side of the room under our enormous self-constructed loft. I'm referring to the days of vinyl. Downloads don't come with posters and such... one of the great misses of the advancement of technology.

Ricardo Queso

Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

props for the prism!


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

Why is the 1980 photo in black and white?


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 9:11 p.m.

That's a good answer I hadn't thought of. Or maybe a Michigan Daily photographer who shot it for the paper.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Maybe from another student taking a black and white photography class that semester....? Just a guess.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

I had Led Zeppelin posters. Lots of them. My roommate's side had pictures of guns and naked girls.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Healthcare is not subject to normal market forces! Anything that you have to buy at any random moment in order not to die is not something to which a rational supply/demand calculus can apply. Check out "Penny Medical" articles on how to reduce the cost of insurance.


Sat, Feb 4, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

I will!