The University Record, November 5, 1997

Burnham House will be home of James D. Reader Jr. Center when moved to Arb

Built in about 1837, the historic Nathan Burnham House will be moved to Nichols Arboretum to house the James D. Reader Jr. Urban Environmental Education Center. Burnham sold the house and property to property developers Fuller and Ormsby in 1839 for $1,000. Photo courtesy School of Natural Resources and Environment


By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

Come spring, the brick house at 947 Wall St. will begin a journey up Maiden Lane, past the Medical Center, to its new home just inside the Washington Heights entrance to Nichols Arboretum where it will house an urban environmental education center. The mo ve has been made possible by the support of James D. and Helene C. Reader. The Center will be named in memory of their son, James D. Reader Jr., an Ohio school teacher and coach.

The establishment of the James D. Reader Jr. Urban Environmental Education Center gives the Arboretum an opportunity to provide indoor space where school children, University students and the public can meet and learn, says Harrison Morton, Arboretum dir ector. "The James D. Reader Jr. Urban Environmental Education Center will tie together history and the future," he says.

Most recently used as a medical office, the building will house a classroom, display area, office/library, and caretaker's apartment. The Reader Center will provide indoor space for education, research and orientation for Arboretum visitors.

The Arboretum is an environmentally diverse resource used by students and faculty in more than 40 University courses, as well as other educational groups. Founded 90 years ago as a 27-acre University Botanical Garden, Nichols Arboretum now covers 123 ac res of glacially carved terrain between Central and North campuses. It is managed by the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Information about the Arboretum is available on the Web at http://www.umich. edu/~snrewww/arb.