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Floyd Parks Collection

Identifier: RH-A-4240

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of materials relating to the planning, construction, and sale/rentals of residences at the Parkview Hills housing development in Kalamazoo, MI covering the years 1969 to 1989.

The materials in this collection relate to the partnership between Burton Upjohn (1928 – 1988) and H. Lewis Batts Jr. (1922 – 2001) regarding the construction of the Parkview Hills housing development in Kalamazoo, MI. The majority of the materials relate to the development of the partnership agreement between the previously mentioned people along with the process by which the funds for the project were raised. These materials mostly take the form of correspondences between Mr. Upjohn, Dr. Batts Jr., and other figures related to the project. Within these correspondence, the Upjohn and Batts are often referred to informally as “Burt” and “Lew,” respectively. The most common topics of these correspondences include financing, planning meeting, meetings with city and county officials regarding permits, and legal agreements. Promotional materials about the community and amenities of Parkview Hills offer a look into the design decisions of the project leaders. Finally, numerous financial statements of the financiers of the project are included on lined graph paper.


  • Creation: 1969-1989


Parkview Hills Community Background

One of many planned communities in the Kalamazoo metropolitan area, Parkview Hills was the brain-child of Burton Upjohn and H. Lewis Batts Jr. The community they built featured single-family homes, condominiums, and apartments. Dr. Batts had been a professor of ecology and ornithology at Kalamazoo College and held a strong belief that a housing community that embraced a harmonious relationship with nature could thrive in Kalamazoo. A large portion of the land purchased by the partners was kept undeveloped as a means of offering the residents a combination of proximity to the downtown area and a quiet, naturally beautiful community.

Floyd Parks Biography

As the trust officer for H. Lewis and Jean McColl Batts, Floyd Parks was responsible for the caretaking of these materials. Further, Floyd Parks worked with the Upjohn Company when it went public in 1958 and helped process over $100 million on stock sales for the pharmaceutical company.


2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Previously, this collection was held by the Batts’ family trust officer Floyd Parks, of American National Bank.

Physical Description

The contents of the collection amounts to two cubic feet of materials, most of which is loose leaf papers in no particular order or organizational pattern. Some papers were held together with staples or paperclips which had rusted, leaving some yellow-brown discoloration on some corners of the papers. The quality of the paper varies considerably, from letter stock to carbon copies. The print on each page is legible in most cases except for a few carbon copies that have faded. The condition of the papers is very well preserved and shows few signs of deterioration. Most of the correspondence had been typed using a typewriter and bore a stamp from a “Trust Department” in black ink. Many of the pages also bear a red “copy” stamp. A large portion of the materials were on letter head from Parkview Hills, American National Bank and Trust, and various law offices regarding the partnership agreement and zoning.

Floyd Parks Collection finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490