Who is that cramped man? Could it be Harry Burns Hutchins, in corbel form? And what's a "corbel," anyway?
|If you've ever looked up while passing through the Quad's stone archways, chances are you've seen little men. Little concrete men, in cramped poses, who seem to be carrying the weight of the Law Quad on their shoulders. Casually referred to as "gargoyles," these are, in fact, properly called "corbels," or—as their supportive stance would corroborate—"Atlas figures," or "atlantes."
|These stone mascots are Law School icons, and were incorporated into the original design of the Quad in the 1920s. As a way to pay homage to the Quad's remarkable architecture, and link it to the new buildings to come, this Henry Hutchins avatar, complete with hardhat, has become the logo for the School's new construction.
|If you study the vaulted ceiling marking the central passage of the Lawyers Club, you'll see Hutchins (who was dean of the Law School before becoming a University president) and five other former U-M presidents represented: Angell, Burton, Tappan, Haven, and Frieze. In the east and west passageways are slightly smaller figures, representing the seasons, sports, and various professions.