Weekend / Stuff



Tackett / Thursday

Double shot every 15 minutes till no pain is felt.
As prescribed by Dr. I.M. High

Wayne State University / Detroit

McGregor Memorial Conference Center (1958) by Minoru Yamasaki
This was the first building Yamasaki designed on the Wayne State campus.

The reflecting pool was restored in 2013. It had been empty since the 80's.

College of Education Building (1960) by Minoru Yamasaki
This was the second Yamasaki building on the campus.

Helen L. DeRoy Auditorium (1964) by Minoru Yamasaki

Hopefully a pool restoration project is in the works.

Richard A. Cohn Building (1959) by Harley, Ellington, & Day

In the Abstract / OMA

In the Abstract at Oceanside Museum of Art
Curated by Dave Hampton

Jack Rogers Hopkins

 Marj Hyde, Russell Baldwin, Malcolm Leland and Barney Reid.

John Dirks

Russell Forester

Jack Boyd

Toza Radakovich

 Ellamarie & Jackson Woolley and Bob Matheny

As you can see, the exhibition is incredible. 

In the Abstract
August 15 – November 1, 2015

Weekend/ Stuff

Eames CTW

Bottom feeding

Architecture / Detroit

 Stanley Hong's Mannia Cafe (1968) in Detroit, Michigan

Source: Tiki Room

Southwest Detroit Hospital (1975) by Eberle M. Smith Assoc.
The 1980s architectural guidebook I used on my trip states, "The building's materials were selected for lightness due to low bearing capacity of the soil and to resist industrial fumes generated nearby" Seems like the perfect spot for a hospital. 

I didn't even come close to going inside, but this article tells the story. 

Reynolds Metal Regional Sales Office (1959) by Minoru Yamasaki in Southfield (Detroit suburb)

1959 photo. The Northland Shopping Center is in the background.

Packard Plant (1903) by Albert Kan

I wanted to get the expected bombed out Detroit posts out of the way first. It's no secret that Detroit has suffered from decades of disinvestment. Things are bad, but there is so much potential. The city has a rich history and so much great architecture. The good stuff is coming up.

Northland / Detroit

Northland Shopping Center (1954) by Victor Gruen
Located in Southfield, MI, a Detroit suburb, Northland was the largest shopping center in the country. Alvin Lustig collaborated with Gruen on the identity and signage. 
Source: Laboratoire Urbanisme Insurrectionnel

It was a big deal. Life magazine even did a big spread on the opening of the center. 

Source: LIFE, 1954

Source: LIFE, 1954

Giraffe family by Malcolm Moran

Source: Laboratoire Urbanisme Insurrectionnel

Alvin Lustig designed the logo and some environmental signage for Gruen.

Image: Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig

Lustig parking lot sign

Image: Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig

Source: Life Magazine, 1954

1956 photo of the Lustig-designed water tower located at the edge of the shopping center.

Photo: Mike Grobbel

Totem by Gwen Lux

Photo: Mike Grobbel

You can see part of this wayfinding sign in the photo above. 
Source: LIFE - Aug 30, 1954

It's unclear to me if Lustig designed these interior signs. The main entrance monument, parking lot signage and the water tower are the things that are usually credited to Lustig. Though, you'll notice that his logo is on top of the sign. 
Photo: Mike Grobbel

This is so good!

Photo: Mike Grobbel

Water mobile sculpture by Richard Hall Jennings

Photo: Mike Grobbel

Northland was the beginning of a nationwide regional suburban shopping center trend. It  was part of a greater shift of resources from the inner city to the suburbs. This was the beginning of Detroit's problems.

Alvin Lustig-designed entrance sign.

Image: Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig

Fast forward 61 years. 
The center closed in March, 2015.

Source: 7 Action News

The only car in the lot was a security guard.

Gruen eventually regretted his involvement in the creation of the suburban shopping mall monster...
Victor Gruen- "I am often called the father of the shopping mall. I would like to take this opportunity to disclaim paternity once and for all. I refuse to pay alimony to those bastard developments. They destroyed our cities."