Michigan School for the Blind
Michigan began educating the blind in 1859 at Flint's Michigan Asylum. In 1879 the legislature established the Michigan School for the Blind, which opened here on September 29, 1880, with 35 students. The next year, five students were its first graduates. At first students learned by lecture / demonstrations, but in 1884-85 the school introduced braille reading and writing. The first deaf / blind student was enrolled in 1887. By the 1950s the school boasted its largest enrollment, three hundred children in kindergarten through grade twelve. Student activities have included music, drama and track. In 1961 and 1963 student wrestlers won class B state championships.
In 1880 the Michigan School for the Blind moved from Flint to this site, the former home of the Michigan Female College and the Institute for Oddfellows. This structure, then called Old Main, has served as the focal point of the 40-acre campus of the Michigan School for the Blind. The monumental, three-story Neo-Classical Revival-style building was designed by Edwyn A. Bowd (1865-1940) of Lansing. It originally housed the entire student body and school offices. Enlarged and remodeled several times, the E-shaped brick and limestone structure retains its architectural beauty.