On the corner of Saginaw St. and Abbott Road in East Lansing stands a beautiful arched white structure. At turns majestic and modest, the Michigan State Medical Society building is at one with the lush greenery that surrounds it. This emphasis on harmony between architecture and nature is characteristic of Minoru Yamasaki’s architectural philosophy. The Michigan State Medical Society building was, in fact, the first building he designed in Michigan outside of the metropolitan Detroit area. 
“It seems to float in the air”
Building Elevation for the Michigan State Medical Society
The Michigan State Medical Society has a long history in Michigan. After its 1866 founding, the Society spent over ninety years in buildings around the Detroit and Lansing areas. By 1959, it decided that a permanent establishment was needed. During construction, the site was described as “an unsightly anomaly in the beautiful neighborhood of East Lansing.” When the two year construction project was finished, the site had been transformed into an aesthetically pleasing construct that complimented the landscape. On June 4th, 1961, the Michigan State Medical Society building was dedicated in a lavish ceremony, accompanied by an open house for the public.
What does it look like today?
Michigan State Medical Building today. Picture taken by Christiane Evaskis.
Unlike many other commissioned buildings, the Michigan State Medical Society has maintained ownership since the building’s completion in 1961. Until Yamasaki Associates dissolved at the end of 2009, the society maintained regular contact with them. They were consulted whenever repairs were needed or additions were constructed. The Michigan State Medical Society building thus provides a very rare opportunity to see a Yamasaki structure that has stayed close to the architect’s original vision. Should you ever find yourself in East Lansing, take the time to seek out this treasure.
“Concrete roof vaults distinctive feature,” June 04, 1961. Lansing State Journal, p. 8.
“Medical Headquarters To Be Dedicated,” June 04, 1961. Lansing State Journal, p. 8.
 While this was the first building Yamasaki designed outside of metropolitan Detroit, it was not the first building that was completed. That was the original Daniell Heights apartment complex at Michigan Technological University.