Georgia O'Keeffe
- Cooperative House -
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The ICC first discussed building its own "cooperative village" on North Campus during the mid 1950s, when the University announced its plans to house the art and engineering schools there. In 1958, government funds became available for long-term, low-interest loans for cooperatives on college campuses. The University was required to co-sign the loan, and unfortunately the University administration was reluctant because they feared that all the Fraternities and Sororities might request the same kind of assistance. The North Campus project lay dormant until 1964, when Congress amended the law to make the signatures of universities no longer requisite.

Because of the strict selection criteria, no student co-op had yet received a HUD loan when the ICC sent in its five-pound application in 1968. HUD approved the application a few months later, and a delegation from the ICC traveled to Chicago to collect the prize. The unlikely group of real estate moguls attracted some attention in the stuffy government offices. Luther Buchele remembers:

One middle aged woman in the HUD office noted the long hair on John Atchaz, John Gourlay, Rex Chisholm, and Smokey Geyer. She said haughtily to me "This must be a delegation of visitors." "Would you like to loan a group like this a million dollars?" I asked. She answered, "I certainly would not!" I then informed her that HUD had indeed made such a loan and she looked sour.

The North Campus co-ops are composed of O'Keeffe, Renaissance, and Escher Houses. All North Campus co-opers are members of Escher, which is comprised of the common areas, exterior of the building, and grounds. Members live in either O'Keeffe or Renaissance, each house has its own Constitution, rules, and officers. You may notice a subtle difference in the general character of these two houses, but they are really much more similar to each other than either is to any of the Central Campus co-ops. These houses are divided into suites of 16 to 20 people, each with a TV lounge, kitchen, four shower and four toilet rooms. These intimate arrangements facilitate social interactions and make the house feel smaller than it really is. O'Keeffe has five suites: Trantor-Mir, Walden III, John Sinclair, Bag End, and Zapata. Suites often develop a distinct personality, although the character fluctuates from year to year. Members are free to use the facilities of any suite, and people throughout the building socialize together and see themselves as members of the house more so than of a particular suite.
Our cooperative houses on North Campus offer our members a quiet and peaceful setting surrounded by trees and other greenery.
A perfect environment to relax, enjoy the scenery, or even to start your school work after a day of classes. Can you imagine yourself taking this path back to your home?
O'Keeffe is generally cleaner and quieter than most co-ops, but we are still quite social. We engage in lively dinnertime conversations that range from academic subjects, to politics, to just joking around. O'Keeffe members are generally very intelligent and worldly, after a while you will not be surprised that there are resident experts on just about every topic the conversation takes you. After getting used to being surrounded by such high quality academics, engineers and inventors, musicians, and artists, the outside world may seem to be a very strange place! We are an extremely diverse international crowd. On recent count, members here speak over 30 languages! Also, many of those native to the US have traveled extensively in foreign countries. The North Campus co-ops may be one of the most diverse, sustainable communities in existence. You will see people from very different backgrounds working on cooking crews, maintenance projects, or just watching TV together. You may hear many people and organizations paying lip-service to integrative diversity, we actually live it. This year, we were fortunate to have a member from Southern India on the weekend cooking crew, so it was like having our own Indian Restaurant buffet! Other cooking crews have made Cantonese, French, Persian, Japanese, Greek, and West African dishes in recent times.
O'Keeffe is seperated into five suites: Bag End, Sinclair, Trantor Mir, Waldon III, and Zapata. Each suite consists of a kitchen, fully equipped for your cooking needs.
And a quaint dining room to eat your meals. Each suite also has its own living room...
...with a television set and cable. We also have a recreation room for our members to enjoy. Ping pong anyone?
The dining room is one of the most social areas of the house. The constant supply of yummy food and drink attracts people for late night snacks, and people are often captivated into spontaneous socialization with folks who are hanging out. We have regular parties, and, depending on the mood and interests of the current members, we organize activities such as theater trips, skiing, white water rafting, camping and to events going on in the area, such as Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth. In warmer months, people read, relax, and chat in our courtyard, complete with picnic tables and a hammock. We also have a large grill that is used for bonfires.
One of the defining characteristics of cooperative living is eating together. There is a professional chef that cooks dinner for all the North Campus residents from Monday through Friday. Dinners are a great time to get to know the rest of your house members. Visit us for a complimentary dinner to find out more about our home!
Here is the main kitchen that all our suites share and where these dinners are made. People are always wondering down to the kitchen area looking for lunch or a midnight snack. All the food you can eat is already included in your monthly rent!
Although some members chose to live in double rooms (which are cheaper), most members have their own room. There is about an equal number of Small and Large Singles, Large Singles have higher charges and are about 75% larger. Although Large Singles are always in demand, new members who sign contracts early in the season can often move straight into Large Singles. Current members can homestead (reserve) Large Single rooms for future terms.
Living in our North Camus Co-ops also comes with lots of great amenities. Forget coin operated laundry machines! Wash your clothes as often as you'd like.
We also provide our members with a large indoor bike rack. Your bike will be safe from the harsh winters in here. Our home also has a music room for our musicians to enjoy.
There is plenty of parking for our members here. We even have a vollyball court outside. We try to enjoy the summer and autumn months while they last!
More than just a place to live, however! The social side of O'Keeffe
drumming-the-night-away making-music
The drumcircle playing at a recent party Members hanging out at the bonfire
Our-neighbor Lauren&Kurt
One of the neighbors Recent North-Campus Co-op party!
Members-being-silly Ready-for-launch
Sometimes we can be a bit crazy! Halloween
This is what our back yard looks like! King Mob playing at a house party
Members speak over 30 languages Diwali celebration
We welcome vistors, come for a tour and check us out!

ICC Office: 337 E. William St. / Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 662-4414 / fax (734) 662-5870