U of D Mercy Gets New Digs In Old Detroit Firehouse

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(Photo: Mike Campbell) This historic firehouse is going to become part of the U-D Mercy Law School.

(Photo: Mike Campbell) This historic firehouse is going to become part of the U-D Mercy Law School.

mikecampbell Mike Campbell
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DETROIT (WWJ) They won’t be using hoses or trucks, but will probably battle conflagrations of their own as University of Detroit-Mercy Law School students begin  learning their trade in an old firehouse.

David Koelsch, director of UDM Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic, said a historic building at Larned and St Antoine  built in the 1880s as a firehouse will become their new hub.

“It’s a great Detroit story about an old architectural icon in Detroit being repurposed for a wonderful new charter,” Koelsch said.

The building is gutted right now, but retains many historic architectural features that will be kept — like spiral staircases and a tower used to scout for fires and hang cotton fire hoses to dry.

The fire poles, however, have been removed.

“We’re going to put all 11 of our clinics that the UDM Law School has in this old fire station — instead of putting out fires, we’re going to be solving people’s legal problems,” Koelsch said.

The building has been donated to the school through alumnus Anthony Asher and the McGregor Foundation and the children of Walter Buhl Ford the Third. The current clinic is across the street in an old, renovated Jesuit dormitory building.

Koelsch noted the new UDM building is just blocks from the Detroit police department, county prosecutor offices and city and county jails, which makes it convenient for law students seeking internships and possible future employment.

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