Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Detroit's Best Architecture?: AIA Snubs Detroit Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 3:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The American Institute of Architects, in honor of their 150th anniversary, has compiled a list of 150 "favorite structures across the nation based on nominations from AIA member architects". I scanned this list to check on Detroit locations, and guess what? THERE WEREN'T ANY! See for yourself at http://www.aia150.org/afa150_d efault.html. Honestly, some of the selections are downright junk!

They also state that "This remains a work in progress and you are encouraged to contribute." Let 'em know they screwed up by clicking on the "What's Missing?" link to the left of the above referenced page.

Question: What is/are your favorite examples of Detroit architecture? I'm sure we can list 150, maybe more. The only rule is they must still be in existence. I can't wait to see what you guys post!
Top of pageBottom of page

Irish_mafia
Member
Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 820
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 7:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How could they have missed the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice?
Top of pageBottom of page

Kathleen
Member
Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2124
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 8:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Welcome to the Forum, Eastsidedame! As you might imagine, we've had lots of past discussions on Detroit Architecture ranging from specific buildings to specific architects to specific styles.

Relating to the topic you posted, check out this recent thread from the Discuss Detroit Archives:

AIA Ranks America's Favorite Architecture - Detroit Left Out
https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/91697/93626.html

And here are a couple more past threads that might be of interest:

Favorite Detroit Building
https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/76017/87439.html

School Architecture of Detroit (and surrounding area)
https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/6790/62616.html

Unfortunately, due to a server crash a couple years back, threads in which we ranked favorite buildings and had other lengthy discussions on architecture and architects were lost.
Top of pageBottom of page

Bits
Member
Username: Bits

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 12:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

While none of the buildings listed are in Detroit, 8 of them have roots here, or were designed by Detroit Architects including 2 in the top 20.

14. Eero Saarinen - St. Louis Arch
19. Minoru Yamasaki - World Trade Center NY
94. Gunnar Birkerts- UM Law School Ann Arbor MI
106.Harry Weese - DC metro stations
115.Eero Saarinen - TWA terminal NY
130.Douglas House, Richard Meier,Harbor Springs
136.Gunnar Birkerts- Corning Museum NY
149.Eero Saarinen - Ingalls Ice Arena, Yale

3 were designed by Eero Saarinen who grew up and taught at Cranbrook and office was here. 2 by Gunnar Birkerts, who worked for Eero. 1 by Harry Weese who studied Architecture at Cranbrook under Eero. One by Yamasaki who's office was here in Detroit (who came here to work for Eero, but never did). 1 by Richard Meier is in harbor Springs and is Meiers most famous house.
Top of pageBottom of page

Jjaba
Member
Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 5061
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 1:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bits and Eastsidedame, welcome to The Forum.

Bits, your connections to Detroit are admirable but sort of begs the question. Detroit does have significant bldgs. and if we were dissed, we were dissed.

We can count millions of ways Detroit appears in Toyotas, but it's still a fucking foreign import, eh. (Although Americans love their Japanese cars.)

C. Howard Crane and Albert Kahn were also pretty good archictects.

jjaba, Westsider.
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanize
Member
Username: Urbanize

Post Number: 357
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't Forget Daniel Burham. Designed the halls for both Detroit and Chicago (probably other buildings here and in Chicago also). It was a way to congregate people into the city center. Well his designs and plans at least worked in one of the cities

(Message edited by Urbanize on March 24, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 18
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 11:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kathleen, sorry about the server crash. Hit shappens. Any rules about starting another list of 150 buildings, not only schools? Or about getting a fresh take on topics no longer accessable?

In other words, I'd like to refer the AIA to a link of this forum. Certainly you'll agree that their publication of the AIA list is a timely and appropriate reason to be discussing this issue again.

Their "New York-centric" view of American architecture should be rectified, don't you think? What better place to start than here?

Thanks for the welcome, guys. Long time reader, first time writer. I miss Detroit and really nice (through cybertravel) to be here. Now if only I could have JUST ONE SIP of Faygo Rock 'n' Rye again! (sigh)
Top of pageBottom of page

Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 275
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I bet the AIA has an aversion to putting high rankings on abandoned buildings. They can't review recent photos of them without realizing what a travesty it is that such fine works of art have gone unmaintained for so long. That would unfortunately disqualify some of our fantastic architecture. :-(
Top of pageBottom of page

Rhymeswithrawk
Member
Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 540
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now if only I could have JUST ONE SIP of Faygo Rock 'n' Rye again! (sigh)

But you can!
http://www.popsoda.com/faygoro ckrye.html
Top of pageBottom of page

Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 277
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Haha that's awesome! RnR for the masses! I have to email that to all of my out of state friends!
Top of pageBottom of page

Jonnyfive
Member
Username: Jonnyfive

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I bet the AIA has an aversion to putting high rankings on abandoned buildings"

They put the no-longer-standing world trade center on the list.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 20
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, saw the "Detroit Left Out" post. A lot of griping, but too few concrete (excuse the pun) nominees.

Of the schools, I'd nominate:
Southeastern High School
Cooper Elementary
Mackenzie High School
Alexander Hamilton School
Cooley High School

I'm sure there are many I could add, I just don't remember them, or haven't seen photos of them. Anyone? My own alma mater, Marquette Elementary was rather bland, as I remember.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 21
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey, Rhymeswithrawk, thanks for the clue re: Faygo. But the cost of shipping liquids is out of sight! It's more than the pop!

Shoulda started that "Y'all's Detroit Store" here in Texas back in the 80s and stocked stuff like that. Now, no more Stroh's, etc. Coulda been rich; woulda moved back home.

Back on topic, wanted to add to the school list (old) Cass Tech/Commerce. How could I forget that one??
Top of pageBottom of page

Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3906
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 1:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eastsidedame, I attended Marquette School from 1960-65. How about you?

Of Detroit area schools, the first 2 that come to mind as the most spectacular are Fordson High School in Dearborn (a wonderful Elizabethan design), and Grosse Pointe South High School.
Top of pageBottom of page

Kathleen
Member
Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2133
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 12:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eastsidedame: Feel free to start a thread for rating Detroit buildings. If it attracts enough attention, it could end up in the DetroitYES Hall of Fame!

My only intent in posting the links to previous and related threads on this topic was to point out that we had a discussion on the same topic as the thread you started. Sometimes it is better to keep an old thread going rather than start a new thread because it keeps all the aspects of the topic in one place.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 25
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 11:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Kathleen, no harm, no foul. I see your point.

Gistok: Yeah, I agree with you on those 2 schools, but I was trying to keep in Detroit city limits. But those are great examples!

I went to Marquette 1961-62. My parents moved out of Grandma & Grandpa's house after that. My teacher was, I think, Mrs. Cantine, or something like that. Does that ring a bell?
Top of pageBottom of page

Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3940
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:29 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes it does Detroitrulez... get over it...

Mrs. Cantine and her husband had the misfortune of both being killed (as pedestrians, by a car) in upstate New York about 10 years ago, during their retirement. Very unfortunate, she was a well love Kindergarten teacher at Marquette.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3942
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 12:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If all threads stayed on track, I would agree. But the 6 years I've been posting here, that's never happened.

Let's put this into perspective shall we... on this thread folks have mentioned Toyotas and Faygo pop.

Just try to find a thread that didn't ever go off on a tangent...

And besides... this topic is old news, and has already been discussed ad nauseum last month on the thread that Kathleen mentioned above (aged off last week).

And this thread is pretty much exhausted... so I don't see where going off on another tangent should get your knickers in a twist!

(Message edited by Gistok on March 28, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3944
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 1:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Urbanize, if I start a thread "Mrs. Cantine is Dead" I will get a real lambasting from the old timers. I know better than that. Besides this thread is nearly dead anyway.

So quit yer yelling... :-)

(Message edited by Gistok on March 28, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 31
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 3:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any more nominees? Or do I have do go and get a copy of "AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture" and think of them all myself? I don't live there anymore so I'm at a disadvantage. Don't tell me we don't have 150 examples of great architecture in Detroit, I know we do. Residences must count, too, since they've included The White House (#2).

Gistok: It might be nearly dead for you, but I'd like to put the AIA in their place, per Kathleen's remarks. Sorry about Mrs. C. Pls e-mail me at texastreasure517@yahoo.com if you have more info. Thanks.
Top of pageBottom of page

Conkretepete
Member
Username: Conkretepete

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 1:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i think the guardian building has to go on that list at the very least. you cannot find a building like that anywhere, and its gorgeous!!!
Top of pageBottom of page

Urbanize
Member
Username: Urbanize

Post Number: 439
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 5:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey, what happen to my posts?
Top of pageBottom of page

Jonnyfive
Member
Username: Jonnyfive

Post Number: 31
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think if you look at Detroit's three most obvious skyscrapers (the Guardian, Penobscot, and Fisher,) the Guardian is the one most unique and impressive in any city. It's a god damn tragedy our city was entirely ignored. For all the mediocre train stations on that list, I'm still baffled how you could choose to ignore MCS, abandoned or not.
Top of pageBottom of page

Danindc
Member
Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2259
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 6:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I think if you look at Detroit's three most obvious skyscrapers (the Guardian, Penobscot, and Fisher,) the Guardian is the one most unique and impressive in any city. It's a god damn tragedy our city was entirely ignored. For all the mediocre train stations on that list, I'm still baffled how you could choose to ignore MCS, abandoned or not.



As stated in another thread, the survey was not "best" architecture, but "favorite" architecture. Detroit isn't exactly a tourist mecca, so the general public has relatively little exposure to the great building works of Detroit.

Not everything has to be taken as a slight toward Detroit. Most of us on here have quite an appreciation for Detroit's unique collection of architecture.
Top of pageBottom of page

Eastsidedame
Member
Username: Eastsidedame

Post Number: 32
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 2:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Most of us on here have quite an appreciation for Detroit's unique collection of architecture."

True, but the idea is to get the rest of the country's appreciation. This could be a real public relations coup for Detroit if publicized correctly.

For example, what if Brush Park were restored? I mean, completely restored. Homes, shops, businesses evoking pre-auto industry 1875 Detroit. Very few second-empire structures survive in this country, much less a neighborhood of them. What a tourist attraction that would be. It would be awesome at Christmas, all decorated and lit up. Not to mention all the location scouts for the film and television industry falling all over themselves to shoot period pieces there. It's not impossible. And it's a proven fact that restoration boosts property value and generates income from residual enterprises.

Yes, the northern part has more intact homes than the southern part, but faithful reproductions and house moving (what could be more complicated than moving the Gem Theater? That made national headlines.)would work.

Take a look at St. Louis' Lafayette Square. It wasn't always like this; it was restored. This is just one example of what can be done with vision, purpose and yes, dollars. We can learn a lot from what St. Louis has accomplished there. They had a major tornado hit the area in 1896, it was a slum by the 1950s. They didn't start restoration until the 1960s. Frankly, I think our Second Empire homes in Brush Park are much more interesting than theirs in Lafayette Park.

Background on the Lafayette Park District in St. Louis can be found here: http://www.explorestlouis.com/ factSheets/fact_lafayette.asp? PageType=4. Photos of the area and buildings are by Lisa Johnston and can be seen here: http://aeternus.com/square/

That is just one example of how we can promote our architectural treasure trove. Being too strapped to tear many buildings down could be our silver lining. It's the old "(re-)build it and the will come" scenario. Our structures are one of our most under-utilized resources. Why not capitalize on the assets we have?
Top of pageBottom of page

Danindc
Member
Username: Danindc

Post Number: 2262
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 1:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Being too strapped to tear many buildings down could be our silver lining.



I couldn't agree more. If you ever go down to Richmond, Virginia, you'll notice a supply of great old housing stock--houses and apartment buildings alike. The City never had enough money to tear 'em all down during the 50s and 60s, and now they're being renovated.
Top of pageBottom of page

Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3965
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 1:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This same scenario is why Detroit still has so many downtown movie palaces, restored and unrestored. There was no need for the land they were on.

Other cities decimated their old movie palaces in their downtowns. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Houston have none. Even in NYC, the best ones are gone (Roxy, Paramount, Capitol).

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.