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Thursday April 17, 2014
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A Tale of Two Buildings



So the Village's former corner is now occupied by a World of Beer franchise, a lively, if all-too-familiar-looking sports bar featuring the streetside seating that spills onto Ann Arbor sidewalks each summer like Paris on the Huron. A few doors down an antiseptic-looking 7-Eleven glows.

Madonna did, in fact, park her leg warmers in U Towers' apartment 10A (now 1001) during her brief tenure as a U-M dance major more than thirty years ago. Her stay is documented in Whit Hill's 2011 memoir, Not About Madonna. Hill was Madonna Ciccone's U Towers roommate, working alongside the future megastar at Miller's Ice Cream Parlor downstairs and dancing with her at the former Rubaiyat nightclub at First and Huron, Ann Arbor's gay dance club precursor to the Necto. Back then, University Towers and Tower Plaza, its better-looking contemporary across campus, were the only high-rise apartments in town.

Lately, of course, student rentals have been bursting into Ann Arbor skies like magic beanstalks. Competition is everywhere these days, but it's the neighboring 606-bed Landmark which competes in overall massing, if not quite airspace dominance, with the 560-bed U Towers.

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