Picked this up today from city bird; I love discovering new parts of Detroit.
St. Clement Catholic Church in Center Line, Michigan - 1961
what it looks like now/ what it looks like in color (the roof is blue)
You know you’re an architecture nerd when you are watching a movie & there is a party scene and your first thought is “I know that house!”. The Palmer House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright can be seen in The Five-Year Engagement. I know that the Ennis House has been used in multiple movies (most notably Blade Runner) and the Marin Civic Center is used in Gattaca, but are there any other Frank Lloyd Wright structures used in movies?
Update: The Turkel House was used in Sparkle
Today I toured the Alden B. Dow Home & Studio and it was better than I had hoped. The tour lasted an extra hour; the guide provided a wide range of information regarding the home, the furniture, and the Dow family. Although my preservationist side cringed, I was beyond excited to sit all over the house! I got to sit in an Eames lounge chair and most of the Herman Miller classics. Another highlight was getting to hop from tile to tile on the pond and watching someone fall into the pond (I’m a jerk, but it was funny/ the rest of the tour he was barefoot). Pictures really don’t do this house justice - it is 20,000 square feet of an architect being 100% uninhibited in expressing his design aesthetic/personality. Bummed we didn’t get to take interior photos, but it’s probably for the best, because I’d still be taking pictures. (I recommend clicking on the photos to see them full size)
The Bubble lamp collection by George Nelson(1908-1986) for Modernica. First Bubble lamp was designed in 1947. Modernica is the only official and authorized manufacturer of the lamps.
Don’t miss out on the George Nelson Exhibit at Cranbrook Art Museum; I’ll be seeing it in a couple weeks.
Next month I’ll be touring the Eliel Saarinen house at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. While I’m up there I’ll also go see the George Nelson Exhibit at the Cranbrook Art Museum.
“Saarinen House is Eliel Saarinen’s Art Deco masterwork and the jewel of Cranbrook’s architectural treasures. Designed in the late 1920s and located at the heart of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Saarinen House served as the home and studio of the Finnish-American designer Eliel Saarinen (Cranbrook’s first resident architect and the Academy’s first president and head of the Architecture Department) and Loja Saarinen (the Academy’s first head of the Weaving Department) from 1930 through 1950. The extraordinary interior, now impeccably restored, features the Saarinens’ original furnishings, including Eliel’s delicately-veneered furniture and Loja’s sumptuous textiles, as well as early furniture designs by their son Eero Saarinen.” (text from official house website)
Alden B. Dow (American Architect)
Following his apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright, Dow opened his own studio in 1934. Dow designed his office space himself, blending the surrounding environment with his architecture under the principles “honesty, humility and enthusiasm.”In his early career, Dow concentrated on residential design using his signature style of Unit Block construction. In this patented method, Dow designed using white unit blocks, which, though they appeared to be a cube, were actually six-sided rhombuses which gained strength as they were stacked together.
Dow described his own philosophy of design as “Architecture is more than the front face of the building. It is the location of the building. It is the plan of the building. It is the construction of the building. It is the heating and cooling of the building. It is the furnishing of the building. It is the landscaping of the building. It is, in its entirety, the manifestation of wholesome living.” (text from his wikipedia) To learn more about Alden B. Dow and information on how to tour his home and studio (the building pictured above) visit abdow.org.
“In 1956, Mrs. Dorothy S. Turkel commissioned internationally acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a residence for her property in the Palmer Woods Subdivision. She selected a “Usonian Automatic”, a two-story concrete block residence. The estimated construction cost was $65,000, no small sum for a residence in 1956. The Turkel House is an L-shaped, two-story, flat-roofed structure of grey reinforced concrete with overhanging eaves, multi-paned hollow glazed windows and a concrete pad foundation. It is an example of Wright’s Usonian Automatic style, a design technique which joined concrete block cavities, steel support rods and poured cement into a single mass.” text from michigan modern For more information visit the official website
After touring the Affleck House, I drove over to the Smith House & it was love at first site (hopefully I can tour it at some point).
“The Melvyn Maxwell and Sara Stein Smith House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1946 and constructed in 1949. It is a prime example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian design philosophy for housing the “common” man. The house is a one story structure of approximately 1,800 square feet. It embodies Wright’s design principle of “organically” blending with the house with the site and surroundings. The use of strong horizontal roof planes, cantilevers, and the landscape emphasize the integrated relationship of the structure.” (text from michigan modern; to learn more/see interior photos go there)