Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 AIA Ranks America's Favorite Architecture - Detroit Left Out Previous Next
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Stecks77
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Post Number: 264
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 10:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) just released a poll they conducted which surveyed AIA members and the general public to determine what are the top 150 favorite structures in America.

Press release and methodology
http://www.aia.org/press2_temp late.cfm?pagename=release_0207 07_150Buildings

List of ranked Buildings
http://www.aia150.org/aia150_a fa_default

I've always felt that Detroit has an excellent collection of architecture from all periods and styles and I was somewhat surprised that the city and metro area couldn't even crack the top 150.

Why is this and what could be the biggest factor?

Does Detroit only have mediocre examples of particular architectural styles?

Has Detroit's great buildings been razed?

Is it because most of the buildings are in disrepair at the current moment?

Does the reputation of the city cause people to overlook what Detroit has to offer?

Or are there other reasons?

(Message edited by stecks77 on February 13, 2007)
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Andylinn
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 10:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i think it's the reputation. the fisher and guardian buildings alone belong in the top 25, let alone whatever else might be considered worthy of the "top 150".
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Detroitbill
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Post Number: 150
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 10:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Its a little hard to ignore some of Detroits Gems so who knows why they scrapped on this list.
The Art Deco Society of America consistently displays the Guardian Building on its calendar as one of the premier buildings in the U.S.
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Fury13
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 10:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Architecturally, Detroit is a "newer" city. Most of the remaining buildings in the city are post-1910, which makes sense considering that the initial auto boom period was 1915-1930. Not much 19th-century stock left here, though, compared to other cities.
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Stecks77
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 10:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are two buildings in Michigan, not Detroit, that did make the list.

1)The Legal Research Building at the University of Michigan by York & Sawyer ranks number #94.

2)The Douglas House in Harbor Springs, MI, by Richard Meier is #130.

I have no idea what either looks like. The AIA doesn't show a picture for either on their site. Anyone have a picture?
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Mackinaw
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah but that makes no sense as an explanation for why Detroit didn't have at least a couple/few buildings on here. You cannot be objective and not have any buildings representing the city which boomed more than any other place 1900-1920, and which has one of the top stocks of pre-WWII architecture. Remember, they weren't ranking cities as a whole (and I can see how we could be left out of that because we've blown up the majority of our 80-150 y.o. urban fabric in favor of parking lots), just famous sites. I think they were too scared to put any Detroit places. The Delano Hotel??? Denver International Airport??? The Hotels at Disney world??? Please...But yeah I guess if we're ranking "America's Favorite architecture" than malls, gas stations, and megachurchs should probably be at the top.
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Wirt
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I participated in that survey and tried to list as many of the local gems that I could.
It seems popular opinion has won out.

The survey was so long (they also wanted to know the color of your skin, your TV watching habits and your household income over the last ten years)that only the people willing to reveal their family history and with a whole lot of time on their hands could make it all the way through (I left a lot of lines blank).
Just reviewing the top ten is enough to dismiss the whole list outright.
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Southen
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Its essentially a popularity contest. It reminds me of the All-Star games in professional sports. The best players dont always go, its based on name recognition. Thats where Detroits reputation comes into play because a lot of people dont associate the city with great architecture which couldnt be further from the truth. If this list was compiled by architecture buffs and architects I think the list would look much different and include some of our great buildings.
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Detroit_stylin
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hmmmm...alot of those structures in the top ten seem to coincidentally be in DC....
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Stecks77
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Post Number: 266
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:21 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The AIA website contains a discussion thread where I encourage people to voice their complaints.

http://blog.aia.org/favorites/ 2007/02/tell_us_whats_missing. html

Thankfully, there are a few people sticking up for Detroit and asking why it was left off the list. Unfortunately, as all of us know there are some pretty ignorant people out there who love to hate on Detroit. Here is an example but a nice rebuttal to follow.

Posted on February 10, 2007 13:12

John:

I have to chuckle at the desperate attempts here by Michiganders to promote Detroit architecture. The point of the poll was to adduce "America's Favorite" examples of architecture. Why should anyone be surprised that the result turns up a "middle brow" result? But more to point, why should anyone be surprised that a list of "favorites" lacks any reference to Detroit, a desiccated city hobbled by decades of crime and deterioration and consequently shunned by both the business and leisure traveler?

Instead of whining about Detroit's failure to make "the list", you should devote your time to revitalizing your city...more likely, it isn't your city as your addresses are more likely to be Grosse Pointe, Bloomfield, or Ann Arbor...



Posted on February 10, 2007 20:45

Brad:

WOW John, such strong words about Detroit architecture and the people who believe this City was overlooked. I don't think this forum is the proper location for personal attacks. Detroit has one of the nation's largest surviving collections of late nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings and was once called the "Paris of the West". Detroit's Architectural heritage includes many famous architects including Albert Kahn, Frank Lloyd Wright, Minoru Yamasaki, ELiel and Eero Saarinen, and Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson just to name a few. Might I recommend everyone purchase the book AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture by Eric Hill and John Gallagher. Then taking a trip to the City of Detroit. Thanks

Posted by Brad | February 10, 2007 10:09 PM
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Thnk2mch
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

There are two buildings in Michigan, not Detroit, that did make the list.

1)The Legal Research Building at the University of Michigan by York & Sawyer ranks number #94.

2)The Douglas House in Harbor Springs, MI, by Richard Meier is #130.

I have no idea what either looks like. The AIA doesn't show a picture for either on their site. Anyone have a picture?



The Legal Research Building




The Douglas House


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56packman
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seems like an in-industry circle jerk, like the Oscars,Grammys and other pointless awards. Too much Frank Lloyd Wright, they must place a high value on impractical design and leaking roofs (they list falling water house but don't mention that it is being structurally reenforced in order to keep from crumbling). In cases like these, the big thing is to get the nomination, Detroit wasn't represented.
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Danindc
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes, this was an intentional slight toward Detroit.

Does anyone have the actual list of nominated buildings/structures? Because if no Detroit buildings were actually nominated by the AIA professionals, then it's a little hard for them to make the Top 150.
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Stecks77
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Post Number: 267
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 12:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

2,448 AIA members provided nominations and a total of 248 structures were nominated. In order for a building to make the official nomination list it had to get 6 or more nominations.

Either Detroit has very few AIA members or there is a new generation of architects that have not been exposed to the architecture of Detroit via travel or education.

I met an architect in Indianapolis and we had a long discussion. When I started describing the buildings and mentioning the architects who have worked in Detroit and the surrounding area he had a look on his face like he didn't have a clue.

Thanks for the photos Thnk2mch! The Douglas House looks amazing.

(Message edited by stecks77 on February 13, 2007)
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Beavis1981
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 12:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This was a survey down with mostly public opinion, It was a popularity contest. Detroit just isn't that popular or well traveled. You guys are taking this way,way,way to far out of context.
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Danindc
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Post Number: 2136
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

too much Frank Lloyd Wright, they must place a high value on impractical design and leaking roofs (they list falling water house but don't mention that it is being structurally reenforced in order to keep from crumbling).



Actually, the issue with Fallingwater was long-term deflection of the cantilevered slabs. When Fallingwater was built, structural engineering wasn't what it is today, especially with regards to reinforced concrete systems. Long-term deflection due to creep of the material was very likely not considered at all, which led to the excessive deflections. Post-tensioning cables were added to help pull the cantilevers back into place--sort of a structural orthodontic appliance.

This doesn't make it a bad piece of architecture. Most of the properties on this list have undergone repairs and renovations from time-to-time in order to preserve their structural and operational integrity, so they may remain useable.

I will agree, though, that Wright is not my favorite architect, and like most rockstarchitects, the detailing tends to suffer incredibly.
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Michmeister
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 12:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Typical, there is none so blind as those who choose not to see.
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Queensfinest
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can think five or six architectural structures within the city of Detroit that belong on the list.

Detroit simply lacks the sheer number of iconic or architecturally significant buildings that cities like New York, D.C., Chicago, Boston, Philly, or even San Francisco have. Although I don't agree with every selection on the list (Apple Soho store?), I think most of the selections are hard to
refute.

That being said, it's too bad that The Guardian Building and / or Fisher Building or Fox Theatre didn't make the list. They belong

Apart from these few though, the remainder of what should have made the list are unfortunately in disrepair. I am sure that if either the train station on Mich Ave, Tiger Stadium, or one of several former auto manufacturing plants were still operational they would have made the list for sure.

There were significant ballparks and train stations from other towns on that list. Detroit's Tiger Stadium and train station were once comparable to Wrigley or Fenway and Grand Central or Union Stations.

I didn't notice any other vacant structures form any other cities on the list though.
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Danindc
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^While not vacant, I do NOT agree with the placement of Pennsylvania Station (NYC) on the list. The original station was magnificent, but was demolished over 40 years ago. The current Penn Station is a disgrace.
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Stephenvb
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Either Detroit has very few AIA members or there is a new generation of architects that have not been exposed to the architecture of Detroit via travel or education.

I met an architect in Indianapolis and we had a long discussion. When I started describing the buildings and mentioning the architects who have worked in Detroit and the surrounding area he had a look on his face like he didn't have a clue.



I've had similar experiences while describing prominent buildings and architects in Detroit and received blank looks.

I think it's a the lack of promotion that has had the greatest negative impact. There are numerous groups that are doing a great job (i.e. tours, lectures, etc.) to promote Detroit Architecture, but their audience seems to be small niche interest groups. Visit Chicago and the whole city is very proud of it's architecture. (I know Chicago Architecture is a whole different league, but that's not my point.) On the whole, local Detroiter's, some architects included (with the exception of everyone on this and the many other local sites), are apathetic and ignorant about local architecture. I've long complained that AIA Detroit needs to step up and promote local awareness. It pisses me off. AIA Detroit should promote Detroit Architecture to as wide an audience as possible. Promotion leads to awareness, which leads to appreciation, which can change people's expectations toward preservation, restoration, new architecture, urban planning, etc.

I'm trying to fill this void with Critical Detroit by promoting events, books, history, web sites, etc. that highlight Detroit Architecture.

Sorry if this appears like a rant, this is a hot-button issue for me.
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Iheartthed
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I saw this list in the WSJ last week. The two that stood out to me the most were The Belagio in Vegas and Penn Station in New York. Madison Square Gardens currently stands where the structure they had pictured stood. If they could put a structure on there that doesn't even exist anymore then surely they could pull up some old photos of Detroit's structures that still do exist. It was a popularity contest.
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Scottr
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Honestly, this survey is a joke and little more than a popularity contest.

For one, I've personally always considered the Vietnam Memorial to be a sculpture, not architecture. If this made the list, why didn't the Statue of Liberty?

I think we all know the only reason WTC is so high on the list is 9/11. It may have made the list anyways because of it's height, but not 19th. I mean, seriously, the buildings were ugly. tall, sure, but they don't belong on the same list as the Chrysler Building and Empire State building unless it's a 'former tallest building' list. There really is no comparison.

Also, did any theaters make the list? I don't recall seeing any. A shame, since many of the 1920's movie palaces are easily among the most beautiful buildings in the country.

Although it's probably unintentional, this is clearly weighted towards NYC, DC and Chicago. The average American would struggle to name even one building in any other city, so, as usual, American ignorance wins out. I would be interested in seeing their list of 248 nominated by their members, to see what Detroit buildings made THAT list.

That said, there are plenty that I can't argue with - I may have ranked them differently but they certainly belonged on the list.

Good to see some love for Detroit in the comments though - there are far more now than when i left my comment there the other day.
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Gistok
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This is a nice list of tourist destinations. This list could just as easily have been made up by Travel Agents!

A popularity contest is all this was, just a piece of fluff.

No point in getting your knickers in a twist...
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Scottr
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Queensfinest: You may not have seen other vacant structures, but there were some that don't even exist anymore! If mere existence is not a criteria for inclusion, neither should the current use, or lack of.

At first, I dismissed the apple stores as ludicrous additions to the list, but after looking at pics of the Soho store, i can see why that one is there, it's an impressive reuse of the building.
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3rdworldcity
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 2:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Thnk3mch for posting the pictures. I've been in the Legal Reasearch Building and driven past (by boat, can't be seen most times of the year from the road) Douglas House many times. Both worthy inclusions on the list, whatever its deficiencies.
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56packman
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 2:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scottr--you won't see movie palaces listed in such an industry-inside driven list. They mostly view the palaces as shameless rip-offs of older European designs, highly derivative "fluff" from that frivolous decade, the 20s.
(Despite the fact that most palaces have superior acoustics to the cinder block joke auditoriums of the past half-century)
Ain't a lot of love there. If you nominate the Detroit Fox you would have to include its carbon-copy sister the St. Louis Fox (same interior, made from the same molds that were made in Detroit, used, then sent by rail to St. Louis--the buildings have different exteriors, St.Louis has no office building, just storefronts)
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B24liberator
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ha ha! 56packman, you've got it right, in my book! I've never understood the mystical hooey that surrounds Frank Lloyd Wright-- I know it's just a matter of personal taste, but I'll take our Guardian Bldg. over a glass cube with a leaky roof any day!
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Jjw
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Had Tiger Stadium still been in use, I think it would have made the list more than the others mentioned in this thread. I also think the Grand Hotel up on Mackinaw Island could have made this list. The Guardian and Fisher are beautiful buildings I agree, but they do have counterparts in other cities that were also ignored. The list is a fluff piece. I love the Wright home and have been in it a few times, but there are so many grand brownstones and other residential palaces that have been ignored. I guess to make the list, you have to be a size queen.
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Farrer
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 2:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Douglas House is actually, among many others, a favorite of mine. It is rumored to have been owned by Bob Seger. Can anyone verify that?

My first sighting of it was from the water while sailing up to Mackinac Island. I was very impressed. Later as I became more familiar with the coastal bluff road(M119?) and Emmett county(my favorite), I began to look for it alongside the road. Only the topmost floor as at road level. Once when renting nearby for a ski weekend, I spotted it from the road, pulled over and cautiously snuck up to the front door, just to get close up and evaluate some of the detailing and was scared off by a non-silent alarm system and hastily got tf out of there. I was pretty sure that it's a summer only home.

A persistently curious trespasser, I observed it several other times from the beach, in winter, while XX skiing and decided to try it again from the beach this time. From that access I encountered no alarm system as far as I could tell and proceeded to examine the structure up close, as in getting up onto the deck levels on the lake side and shooting a bunch of photographs. Don't ask me to post them because I wasn't a very good photographer at the time nor am I now but it is a very cool place. Almost nautical like on the lake side with the multi-level decks, stairways, balconies and pipe railings. Quite typical of and similar to many other Richard Meijer works. Slightly surprising that it would make such a "middle brow" list as it is only visually accessed nautically or via coffee table archibooks. Or by brazen trespassing which I cannot condone.

"America's Favorite" list says it all.

(Message edited by Farrer on February 13, 2007)
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Mackinaw
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 8:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

haha after the posting of this thread there was an influx of pro-Detroit posts on the AIA message board. Nicely done--keep it up.
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Patrick
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 8:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I left a few posts as well. Out of all the messages, at least a dozen are pro-Detroit.
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Stecks77
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's what I was hoping for.
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Track75
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 11:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Feel better now?
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Stecks77
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 8:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
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Esp
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 9:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I stopped reading the list at 22: The Bellagio Hotel and Casino ???
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Queensfinest
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 9:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe by "Penn Station" the survey actually meant the Farley Post Office across the street. It's supposedly being converted into a kind of extension of the current station, to be named Moynihan Station and is a landmark. The project have faced some delays.

Check it out...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J ames_Farley_Post_Office

Sorry for the wikipedia link, it's just the easiest way to do it.
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Iheartthed
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There was a pic of the old Penn Station (I believe) on the WSJ website.
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Mackinaw
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:53 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No kidding, Esp.
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Detroitrulez
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 2:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

you people need to get over yourselves...either that, or get out of Detroit a bit more often (also--I suggest you peruse the criteria for making this list....might prove enlightening).

I realize that everyone continues to desperately cling to the notion that Detroit has the world's preeminent stock of pre-WWII structures.....blahblahblah. But a visit to many other cities will reveal similar and oftentimes better stocks of historic architecture. Yes the Guardian is a fab structure, a real showstopper, but there are actually other amazing over-the-top deco structures still in use. The Fisher is an impressive building, to be sure, but you can find similar structures in many other medium sized cities across the midwest. I read through this list the first day it came out (it took a while to percolate up through the DetroitYes indignancy/outrage scale), and the first thing that occurred to me was "no detroit buildings." Not because I was outraged, but rather because I was anticipating the all-too predictable thin-skinned cries of "disrespect" and email letter writing campaigns that would inevitably ensue.
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Detroitbill
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 2:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think the emotion here is because just about every other major U.S. city with a valuable architectural history has some sort of representation on this list. Detroit is very well equipped to compete in this category.
Obviously home town loyalty will emerge. I would be worried if it didn't.
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Stecks77
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote (Detroitrulez)

"Yes the Guardian is a fab structure, a real showstopper, but there are actually other amazing over-the-top deco structures still in use."

Do you know what building your even talking about? Last time I checked the Guardian was still in use.

I also love how you make numerous claims throughout your rant but offer zero examples of comparable buildings to the Guardian and Fisher in other cities you fail to cite.

I'm completely overwhelmed and convinced by your strong argument.
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Danindc
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 2:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^re-read. No one ever suggested the Guardian was vacant.
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Detroitrulez
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 3:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You speak in a lot of generalities as well, Stecks. Don't get me wrong, I think the Guardian is wonderful....the Fisher is indeed impressive....but so is Rockefeller Center. Maybe you should stop being so provincial and start being realistic. As if the mere mention of the Fisher or Guardian Bldg is supposed to make people automatically swoon...:
EXHIBIT A: "I met an architect in Indianapolis and we had a long discussion. When I started describing the buildings and mentioning the architects who have worked in Detroit and the surrounding area he had a look on his face like he didn't have a clue. "

Wow!! Real architects who worked in Detroit!! I won't speak for every other city, but let me take an example of a comparatively small midwestern city who had two entries on the list, and near where I currently am in college....

The Carew Tower and Netherland Hotel in Cincinnati is an art deco masterpiece...comparable to the Guardian and Fisher. The PNC Tower and Dixie Terminal are great too...........so big f'ing deal. I think you can probably find a similar masterpiece in St. Louis and other similar sized cities. other architects who have worked in cinci include John Haviland, Isaiah Rogers, H.H. Richardson, Bruce Price, D.H. Burnham, Cass Gilbert, Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Gwathmey/Siegel,William LeBaron Jenney, Walter W. Ahlschlager . Also of note in more contemporary times are major structures by Zaha Hadid, Frank gehry, Cesar Pelli, Michael Graves, Peter Eisenman....


Point is, you may think it is altogether world class impressive to open folks eyes in Indianapolis to "the buildings and mentioning the architects who have worked in Detroit...." however color me underwhelmed by your provincialism and rah rah myopia.
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Stecks77
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote

"you may think it is altogether world class impressive to open folks eyes in Indianapolis to "the buildings and mentioning the architects who have worked in Detroit.... however color me underwhelmed by your provincialism and rah rah myopia. "


LOL, what's wrong with educating someone who knows little about the city you live in, especially when they ask what is there?

You act like I was grandstanding. Far from it.

Gee, next time I'll detail word for word my conversation so someone won't take it out of context and distort it.

(Message edited by stecks77 on February 14, 2007)

(Message edited by stecks77 on February 14, 2007)
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2141
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 5:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have come to admire detroitrulz participation on the forum.So with reluctance I must strongly disagree with your take on the Fisher bldg rulz.

The Fisher won some sort of architectural prize when it was built for bast building of that particular year. The Fisher is comparable to any of the great New York or Chicago bldgs. The Fisher lobby is as ornate and splendid as any anywhere. So to cavalierly state that one could find any number of bldgs in medium sized cities comparable to the Fisher is simply not true.The Fisher is a very special bldg.And when it is compared it can only be compared to the very best; most cities don't have anything to compare it with.

I don't care all that much about this survey.What does strike me is how uninformed those in the field are.The field being architecture.It seems to me that if one were immersed in any discipline they would have some historical perspective. A musician would know the history of his/her instrument, a race car driver would know race car history, an airplane pilot would know aviation history.......etc etc. Somehow that seems not to be the case these days.Anyone that claims to have an interest in architecture that is unaware of Detroits collection of architecture is not very well educated.Either self educated or good old book learnin. I find that more annoying then the fact that Detroit was excluded........these supposed experts don't even know about what it is they excluded.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3631
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The 1928 Fisher Building was the MODEL for retail/financial centers across the country. Cincinnati's 1930 Carew Tower complex and NYC 1932 Rockefeller Center followed suit. But the depression had already knocked the wind out of the exhuberance of Art Deco, and what followed the Fisher was less detailed and more streamlined.

I too noticed that the Carew Tower was not on the list, and it should have been. But by the same token Radio City Music Hall was on the list, while the Oakland Paramount, a greater work of art deco, as well as America's premier Art Deco theatre, was left out.

So yes, it was a popularity contest by most standards.

I also think that the DIA is a grander building than the Chicago Institute of Art, but the AIA must have thought otherwise.

What I found interesting was the fact that the AIA gave the "masses" the buildings they had to choose from. That seemed a rather peculiar way to do it. That's like saying "what is your all time favorite building... of the ones we picked out for you?"

As for the Guardian Building... I challenge anyone on this forum to find a building anywhere in the country that exceeds the Art Deco exhuberance of the Guardian Building.... America's premier Art Deco Bank Building. The lobbies (and much of the exterior) of both Empire State and Chrysler Buildings pale by comparison. Only the spire of the Chrysler (and maybe the elevator doors) are superior to the Guardian Building. Although I have to admit that it's not totally fair to compare 1930's tamer Art Deco, to the more exhuberant 1920's version.
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Esp
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Username: Esp

Post Number: 34
Registered: 09-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 7:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I looked over this list again and really I don't hate 'The Bellagio Hotel and Casino' but placed before Monticello and the Flatiron? There is something so wrong about that.
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 98
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 7:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In the AIA architecture book of Detroit they say in the intro that Downtown arguably has the most diverse collection of Architecture on that square mile than anywhere else on Earth
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Jasoncw
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Username: Jasoncw

Post Number: 341
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The AIA Detroit book was written by AIA of Detroit, so of course it's going to say stuff like that.

Detroit is important though. At least something should have made the top 150.

I guess I'll go make a post there.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2156
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Let's keep in mind the nature of the survey: "Favorite Architecture", not "Best Architecture". Naturally, favorite architecture is going to reflect destinations that receieve more tourists, and thus more familiar structures. I personally have some faves that I think are better than some of the buildings on the list. Not everyone is a building dork like we are!
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 299
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007 - 1:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah! What the hell? How can the World Trade Center be on there? Sympathy points? Not only was it an unremarkable structure, there's that small fact that IT DOESN'T EXIST ANYMORE.
That and I haven't even heard of some of these structures in the top 15.

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