Lurie Terrace is a special place because it’s roots come from the spirit of a special woman – Mrs. Shata Ling. Mrs. Ling spearheaded the construction of Lurie Terrace after she learned of the availability of government funding through the federal government of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that was earmarked for senior housing complexes. She encouraged The Senior Citizen’s Guild to sponsor this project that took two years for approval.
- Lurie Terrace at Fifty: The pioneering senior high-rise grew from the vision of a remarkable woman – by Grace Shackman, from the Ann Arbor Observer, December, 2014 issue.
- View Ann Arbor News Photos from the October 1964 Dedication.
- Additionally, many of Lurie Terrace’s early records and photographs have been cataloged at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library.
Mrs. Ling recognized the need for an activity center where seniors could meet and socialize in Ann Arbor. She and her husband, Dan Ling, purchased an old house on Ashley Street and named it the Anna Lurie Center for Senior Citizens, after Mrs. Ling’s mother. It was an immediate success. The center moved a number of times with a more recent location in the house on Chapan and Huron Streets. The center became known as the Senior Citizen’s Guild. Although she had championed this successful project, Mrs. Ling was still concerned about the lack of affordable housing for seniors.
While the grant process with HUD began its journey, Mrs. Ling continued hers as she persuaded architects, engineers and contractors to do thousands of dollars of preliminary work for which they might never get paid if the grant was not approved. Dan Ling served as structural engineer for the new building. Ground breaking occurred in May 1963. The building was dedicated in October 1964 and in July of 1965, Mrs. Ling visited the World’s Fair where a special exhibit featured Lurie Terrace as one of the nation’s outstanding examples of low-cost all-electrical housing for seniors.
In 1966, Mrs. Ling was diagnosed with cancer. She survived three more years and served as part-time volunteer director of Lurie Terrace.
Lurie Terrace stands today as a memorial to Mrs. Ling, her good-will, strength and determination to make senior living in Ann Arbor a reality. Not only has Lurie Terrace lasted through the years, but it remains a highly desirable place to live with it’s central location to downtown Ann Arbor, as well as it’s reasonable rents and commitment to independent living. Just walk the halls of Lurie Terrace and you can feel it’s history and the strength of Mrs. Shata Ling.
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