In 1903 the State Legislature provided for the creation of Western State Normal School, the forerunner of Western Michigan University,
a publicly funded institution of higher learning. Donating money, services and land, the City of Kalamazoo worked with the State Board of Education to develop this campus. The Olmsted Brothers, well known landscape architects, laid out a prominent site on Prospect Hill, and E. W. Arnold of Battle Creek designed this Georgian Revival complex as Western's official home. Construction began in 1904, and the first portion of East Hall, the Administration Building, was dedicated in 1905. By 1909, the remainder of the building was completed, and some 500 students from all over the state attended classes at the college. East Hall symbolizes the cooperation between school and community.