Michigan State Medical Society
In 1819 five physicians organized the Michigan Medical Society in Detroit. Its purpose was "to examine medical students and certify those so deemed as doctors." The group reorganized in Ann Arbor as the Peninsula Medical Society in 1851. That organization disbanded in 1859. On June 5, 1866, one hundred physicians from across the state once again met in Detroit and founded the Michigan State Medical Society. The society pledged "to elevate professional medical education and to cultivate the advancement of medical science." Among its first projects was the establishment of a state public health department, which was created in 1873. The society was housed in various buildings in Detroit and Lansing until this headquarters was completed in 1961.
Michigan State Medical Society Headquarters
World renowned Michigan architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912-85) designed the Michigan State Medical Society Headquarters. Upon its completion in 1961, Yamasaki explained, "The intent was to build a serene and inviting building to express the idealism and humanity of the medical profession." The terraced landscape, the slender columns and the graceful lines inspired visitors to remark, "It seems to float in the air." In 1991 the Yamasaki firm designed an atrium connecting the original building
to the Cyrus M. Stockwell wing, named for the society's first president. Yamasaki's best-known design is the World Trade Center in New York City.