Office of the VP for Communications – Keeping alumni and friends connected to U-M

Episode 19: Re:Union

A more perfect Union

The Michigan Union, one of the University of Michigan’s most recognizable landmarks at the heart of Central Campus, will temporarily close from April 30 to winter 2020 for a major renovation.

During the renovation, units and departments housed in the Union will be temporarily relocated to other spaces on campus. Food service will not be available in the Union during the renovation.

The Office of Student Life has launched Re:Union, a website developed to keep the U-M community informed on the progress of the renovation.

The website includes a “Find it” resource, list of frequently asked questions, information about nearby food options, ongoing news and updates about the project, Michigan Union history, and student involvement stories.

The $85.2 million renovation is intended to meet the needs of students of the future, honor the architectural integrity of the Union, and address significant infrastructure deficiencies, says Susan Pile, senior director of university unions and auxiliary services.

Impressions of the Michigan Union

  • If these doors could talk…

  • Here she is

  • Come in

  • Second act

  • The barbershop

  • The pool dedication

  • The post

  • Nice touch

  • The bowling alley

  • Dancing

  • Still dancing

  • Rose Bowl, here we come!

  • University Cellar crew

  • Union Station

  • Pinball wizard

See more Michigan Union photos and history.

Details, details

Specifically, the project will:

  • Enhance program and social space on the main level by enclosing the courtyard.
  •  Expand and improve informal gathering spaces on the first floor through restoration of the original 1919 floor plan.
  • Create state-of-the-art student organization and student involvement space.

The project also will provide a deep infrastructure renewal including life safety, electrical, mechanical and plumbing system improvements, elevator upgrades, replacement of the roof, restoration and replacement of windows, interior finish upgrades on floors one through four, and restroom upgrades.

The Union’s North Entrance also will be redesigned to become a more welcoming, open and light-infused entrance with an enclosed ADA-accessible ramp.

“Dating back to its beginning in the early 1900s, the Union was founded first by students as a club, with the current building opening in 1919. It has always been a central location for student involvement, leadership, and social connection. The renovation will honor that history and serve for another 100 years as the place where Michigan memories are made,” Pile says.

This text is reprinted courtesy of The University Record.


  1. Gurnee Bridgman - '54

    If the Union is to be renovated, might there be a place for articles of yore. I have a ‘Life Member’ tag (#6028) which belonged to my father who attended
    UM during WW1 time. He survived the flu epidemic of 1918 while at Michigan, and I have pictures of him in his SATC uniform.
    Go Blue!!!


  2. Mary Coles Bennett - B.A. 1996

    Love my Michigan Union. I spent a lot of time there as I lived in S. Quad my first and second year, often taking the short walk for coffee and late night snacks. I also worked at the Campus Info Center (CIC) and learned much about the university answering the phones and welcoming guests to campus. It was also convenient to study in the “serious” lounge across the hall after shifts, my blood boiling if anyone sat in “my seat,” especially around exam time. I’m sure the renovation will be stunning and manage to take my breath away, much like the experience every time I visit campus.


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