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Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund Records

 Collection
Identifier: UR001289_MDBF

Scope and Content

The papers of the Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund reflect charitable fundraising activity as well as community planning for health care and social welfare needs in post-war Detroit.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: Charitable Fund Raising, Hospital Planning & Construction, Community Centers/Settlements, Detroit Medical Center, Racial Discrimination in Hospitals, Greater Detroit Area Hospital Council, Health Care, Social Welfare Planning

Among the important correspondents are: James L. Blean, Walter C. Laidlaw, Jacques Cousin, Januarius A. Mullen, George Haggarty, Jerome H. Remick, Jr., Stanley W. Hancock, Ramon Scruggs
Series Description: Series I, Board of Directors, 1953-1959: Minutes, proceedings, correspondence, and reports relating to the work of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Series II, Allocations Committee, 1954-1961: Minutes, proceedings, correspondence, and reports relating to the work of the Allocations Committee and its panels.

Series III, Agency Applications, 1953-1962: Sub series A: 1955 Campaign- Approved, 1953-1960: Completed applications and supporting material from agencies granted MDBF funds in the 1955 campaign. Sub series B: 1955 Campaign- Denied, 1953-1956: Completed applications and supporting material from agencies denied MDBF funds in the 1955 campaign. Sub series C: 1961 Campaign- Denied, 1959-1962: Completed applications and supporting material from agencies denied MDBF funds in the 1961 campaign.

Series IV, Campaign, 1954-1965: Correspondence, minutes, reports, clippings, press releases, forms,and publications produced by the various committees managing MDBF campaigns.

Series V, General Files, 1948-1971: Minutes, proceedings, correspondence, reports, and financial records relating to the administration of the Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund.

Dates

  • 1948 - 1971

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

History

The Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund was organized in August, 1953 to manage the collection and distribution of funds for capital improvements to hospitals and health and social service agencies in metropolitan Detroit. Its work was divided between a fundraising apparatus and an allocations committee, assisted by professional consultants, responsible not only for evaluating agency requests and making recommendations to the board, but also for determining the community's long-range health and welfare needs.

Successor to the Greater Detroit Hospital Fund, which raised over $20 million in the late '40s to finance construction at fourteen Detroit area hospitals, the Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund continued the practice of federated fund raising for health and welfare services proven so successful by Detroit's innovative Torch Drive, raising over $30 million in two campaigns in 1955 and 1961 to finance dozens of construction and renovation projects. Unlike the Torch Drive, however, it solicited only from corporations, foundations, and a few wealthy individuals, not from rank and file workers, and gave contributors immunity from further solicitation for capital programs for five years.

These post-war building fund campaigns responded to the critical need for hospital beds and modernized agency facilities created both by shortages of funds and materials during the Depression and World War II and by demographic changes in the metropolitan Detroit area.

In 1962, the United Foundation agreed to take over the administration of MDBF affairs and, primarily because of the economic advantages to be gained, replaced it with its own Capital Fund Division a year later. The Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund was dissolved as a separate corporation in 1971.

Extent

12 Linear Feet (4 SB, 15 MB, 1 OS)

Abstract

Detroit hospital construction; United Foundation Capital Fund Division; racial discrimination in hospital services and medical training in Detroit

Arrangement

Arranged in 5 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 2-4), Series 3 (Boxes 4-12), Series 4 (Boxes 12-13, oversize), and Series 5 (Boxes 13-15). Folders are arranged alphabetically or chronologically depending on the series.

Series 3 is further divided into 3 subseries.

Acquisition

The papers of the Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by H. Clay Howell, president of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, in August of 1986 and April of 1987.

Related Materials

United Foundation Office of the President: Walter C. Laidlaw Records

Transfers

About fifty photographs relating to Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund campaigns and agencies and two slide sets used in MDBF promotions and graphics production have been placed in the United Way for Southeastern Michigan Photograph Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in June 1991.
Title
Guide to the Metropolitan Detroit Building Fund Records
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1991-06
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA