The present Michigan Union building was built in 1917 at the heart of the
central campus near the intersection of South State Street and South
University Avenue. It stemmed from the 1904 Michigan Union student
group -- "an 'all-inclusive organization' focused on providing feelings of
unity for men on campus." After the end of the First World War, the
Union interior was finally completed, and the building officially opened
in 1919. The original Union building included a variety of facilities
including a bowling alley, billiards, barbershop, cafe, and various
lounges, reading rooms, dining rooms, an assembly room, accommodations for
returning alumni and a swimming pool (added later in 1925). In a speech
delivered on the steps of the Michigan Union on October 14, 1960,
presidential candidate John F. Kennedy announced his
Peace Corps proposal. A plaque at the steps now commemorates the event.
In 1929, the Michigan League was built on
North University Avenue as the "women's union".