DETROIT 2022 FIELD SESSIONS
FORD’S INNOVATION RETREAT: EXPLORING MODEL STEWARDSHIP AT FAIR LANE-HOME OF CLARA & HENRY FORD
Tuesday, Nov 8, 8:00a-12:00p
For nearly a decade, a dedicated team has been working on restoring the estate built by Clara and Henry Ford to the look and feel of 1919, including the extensive Jens Jensen designed landscape with functional areas for gardens, flower beds, woodlands, and meadows. Fall beauty will be on display while exploring the unique historic landscape, and discussion will focus on the decisions made in the recent master plan. Tucked into the landscape, the group will consider the boathouse and issues related to its stabilization and restoration. Completed projects on the estate include roofing and structural masonry repairs, which set the stage for interior restoration of finishes and replication of the mansion’s furnishings. Conservators will present their techniques for restoration and re-creation of finishes on decorative wood floors, panels and ceilings, new canvas ceilings and the original light fixtures. Current focus on the estate includes assessing and planning for restoration of the Rouge River-driven powerhouse used to generate power for the estate and the greenhouse building. After a presentation of the findings of the assessments, participants are encouraged to participate in the discussion on how to interpret the powerhouse and greenhouse buildings to the public.
FS 2 ***SOLD OUT***
MICHIGAN CENTRAL: FORD’S DETROIT CORKTOWN REDEVELOPMENT
Tuesday, Nov 8, 7:45a-12:00p
Corktown is Detroit’s oldest existing neighborhood and was listed on the NRHP in 1978. The revitalization of Corktown began in the early 2000s and was enhanced with Ford Motor Company’s recent purchase and active rehabilitation of Detroit’s iconic Michigan Central Station (MCS). Ford’s Corktown campus vision is composed of multiple historic buildings that will connect with the larger Detroit neighborhood. MCS will anchor a $1 billion US investment in a 1.2 million-square-foot innovation hub. Built circa 1913, participants will experience the 650,000 square foot station designed by Warren & Wetmore and Reed and Stem. With over eight acres of stone, terracotta, and brick and three monumental Guastavino tile arches, keeping the 500 construction workers safe during restoration of the deteriorated and, in select areas, collapsing structure is a significant challenge. Connected to MCS by a former mail handling tunnel, the 1936, Albert Kahn-designed, US Postal Service’s Roosevelt Park Annex/Book Depository, caught fire in 1987 causing millions of dollars in damage and a collapsed roof structure. Both MCS and the Book Depository were left abandoned and open to the elements for over thirty years. Both structures demonstrate the extreme deterioration due to weather and the success of a master redevelopment plan.
FROM BROWNFIELD TO BEAUTY: HOW PRESERVATION AND ECONOMIC REDESIGN SAVED THE FORD ROUGE PLANT
Tuesday, Nov 8, 8:00a-11:30a
When Henry Ford developed the Rouge between 1917 and 1928, his vision was to achieve "a continuous, nonstop process from raw material to finished product, with no pause even for warehousing or storage." Ford succeeded on an epic scale. However, the impressive operation eventually created a huge brownfield pollution site. In 1998, Ford Motor Company, largely influenced and guided by the pioneering environmental work of architect William McDonough, re-envisioned the site as healthy and as a model of industrial production and environmental redesign. Major portions were reworked by constructing several new, sustainable buildings and preserving a portion of the Glass Plant designed by Albert Kahn. New site design included a natural approach to stormwater management and incorporating native landscape. Former Director of Asset Management at Ford Land, Roger Gaudette, will speak about the planning and execution behind transforming the Rouge Plant into an environmentally friendly facility. From overseeing the construction of the world’s largest green roof, to becoming the Plant’s volunteer beekeeper, Gaudette will share his personal experiences with the site.
MODERNIZING MONUMENTAL MODERNE: REVITALIZING DETROIT’S LARGEST “RUBIK’S” CUBE
Tuesday, Nov 8, 8:00a-12:00p
This field session will be an in-depth look at the complexity of executing a building-wide infrastructure modernization project within the 777,000 square-foot, historic Theodore Levin United States Courthouse. A tour of the building, combined with targeted presentations from various project representatives will offer APT a unique behind the scenes look at a project geared at updating and ultimately retaining a significant historic US Courthouse in Detroit’s downtown urban core. Speakers will include GSA project and building management, design architect, construction contractor, tenant representatives and GSA historic preservation staff. The project strove to execute a complex, phased building systems upgrade, in a fully occupied building, and rehabilitated the structures largest historic public space. The Art Moderne building constructed in 1934 was designed by Robert O’Derrick, a well-known local architect. Noted Detroit architectural modeler, Corrado Joseph Parducci, created several ornamental bas-relief sculptural groupings featured on the facade. The interior offers a more neoclassical style with a higher level of detail and ornamentation, featuring a central lobby concourse and the “Million Dollar Courtroom".
FS 5 A DAY AT THE MUSEUM: EXPLORING THE CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT AT THE DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS
Tuesday, Nov 8, 8:30a-12:00p
Located in Detroit’s Cultural Center Historic District, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. Designed by French-born Philadelphia-based architect Paul Philippe Cret, the Beaux-Arts Italian Renaissance building is constructed of white marble. North and south wings designed by Gunnar Birkerts were added in 1967 and 1971. In 2001-2007, the museum began a large expansion, renovation and exterior restoration project with architects Michael Graves and Associates and SmithGroupJJR. The Master Plan Project included an expansion, renovation of the wings, and restoration of the original building. The Master Plan renovation process, including the challenges associated with construction, will be presented. Located within the museum, the DIA Conservation Department is responsible for many functions including examining artwork, treating condition issues, and investigating artists’ materials and work methods, for the more than 65,000 artworks that date from the earliest civilizations to the present within the DIA collection. Participants will take an exclusive tour of the Conservation department and observe the ongoing work being conducted in each laboratory including paintings, works of art on paper, objects, imaging, and scientific analysis.
BELLE ISLE: DETROIT'S ISLAND JEWEL
Tuesday, Nov 8, 12:30p-4:30p
Situated just off the city’s coast in the Detroit River, Belle Isle is Detroit’s premier destination for recreation and respite. The 985-acre, NRHP listed site is the nation’s largest urban island park. Much of Belle Isle’s landscape was influenced by Frederick Law Olmsted’s early plan for the island, which favored passive recreation and picturesque environments. Notable architects contributing to the island’s unique collection of late-nineteenth and twentieth century structures include: George D. Mason, Albert Kahn, Stratton & Baldwin, Cass Gilbert, Emil Lorch, and Van Leyen & Schilling. Currently, multiple stakeholders are collaborating to evaluate and preserve the existing resources while considering multiple factors which impact nearly every decision. Participants will gain an overview of the island’s development from a hog inhabited island to a premier leisure destination during a narrated bus tour of the island. The architectural history of the structures, site planning, flood mitigation, and historic landscape will be discussed. Projects in-progress and recently completed will be highlighted with detailed walking tours and discussion at the Aquarium and Conservatory, Athletic Shelter, and Casino. If time permits, the David Scott Fountain and Belle Isle Zoo will also be explored.
FS 7 ***SOLD OUT***
RUINS OF DETROIT – THE REMAINING VESTIGES OF RUIN PORN
Tuesday, Nov 8, 12:30p-4:30p
Several of Detroit’s historic, massive, and complex automotive design and manufacturing facilities have been abandoned and have succumbed to neglect, scrappers, vandalism, and deterioration. The Packard Plant is the most infamous example. Detroit architect Albert Kahn designed the first nine buildings between 1903 and 1905. By 1910, the facility became the largest automobile production facility in the United States encompassing over four-million square feet of space. Beginning in 1956, portions of the plant were sold off, removed, or ignored. The City of Detroit took possession of the site around 1998; it has been mostly neglected and abandoned for the last twenty years. A recent Court Order has called for the razing of the structure due to it being a “public nuisance.” Participants will see the vast campus and gain an understanding of how either restoring or demolishing the buildings is overwhelming. Additionally, participants will experience the Albert Kahn-designed Ford Highland Park Building built in 1910. The Highland Park Building is considered the birthplace of the moving assembly line and operated as an automobile production facility until 1927 when operations switched to other production. Since 2012, ownership has changed hands several times; the facility is currently waiting on its rehabilitation champion.
DETROIT’S SIGNATURE TOWERS: GUARDIAN, BOOK AND FISHER
Tuesday, Nov 8, 1:00p-5:00p
Detroit's spectacular twentieth century office towers include some of the nation's most significant Art Deco architecture. Project teams will lead tours at three Art Deco towers highlighting the history and significant architectural and preservation aspects of each structure. The Guardian Building, a NHL, was given the nickname “The Cathedral of Finance” when completed in 1929. It is an opulent block-long forty-story tower that contains murals by the nationally recognized artist Ezra Winter, mosaics by Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery and sculptures by Carrado Parducci. Participants will walk to the nearby Louis Kamper designed Book Tower that was constructed in two stages, in 1917 and 1926. The Book Tower, previously vacant for twenty years, is undergoing a $313M restoration project which began just five years ago. The restoration of the monumental stained-glass skylight will be featured. Participants will then visit the NHL, twenty-eight story Fisher Building. Designed by the Detroit architectural firm of Albert Kahn, the construction of the Fisher Building was stopped in 1928 and never fully completed. The Fisher Building is faced with granite and marble, while the interior contains forty different varieties of marble and a jaw-dropping, three-story retail arcade.
FS 9 ***SOLD OUT***
“A POWERHOUSE OF ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING INNOVATIONS” – THE ALBERT KAHN LEGACY
Tuesday, Nov 8, 1:00p-5:00p
Albert Kahn is one of Detroit’s most well-known and prolific architects. His significant architectural contributions can be felt throughout the State of Michigan with a rich concentration of structures interlacing the fabric of Detroit. This tour will explore multiple Albert Kahn buildings which vary in architectural style and function. The team will address the innovations in construction and building techniques developed by Kahn’s firm. The session will also identify several recent restorations of Albert Kahn buildings and the innovative ways in which practitioners have approached the preservation of these exceptional buildings while addressing sustainability. Buildings on the tour will include: The Detroit Golf Club (Begun in 1916 but due to wartime construction delays was not completed until 1918); New Center Historic District - Cadillac Place (neoclassical, 1923) which was General Motors HQ until 2002; The Fisher Building (Art Deco, 1928) known as "Detroit's Art Object;” The Albert Kahn Building (Art Deco, 1931) which underwent a successful, recent residential conversion project; The Detroit Free Press Building (Art Deco, 1925) which underwent a recent residential conversion; and The Detroit Athletic Club (Renaissance Revival, 1915) which showcases one of Detroit's most impressive current downtown edifices and reflects what Kahn saw in 1912 during his visit to Italy.
AN ISLAND OF URBAN DELIGHT: MINORU YAMASAKI'S IMPORTANT WORKS AT WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY
Friday, Nov 11, 8:30a-12:00p
Best known for his design of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and one of only a handful of architects to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine, Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986) contributed a number of important modern works to Detroit’s architectural landscape during the mid-twentieth century including four buildings on the campus of Wayne State University. The field session will be held at the Yamasaki-designed McGregor Memorial Conference Center (MMCC) and will begin with an overview of Yamasaki’s works on campus and his partially executed master plan. A second presentation will pivot to provide insight from the owner’s perspective focusing on issues of stewardship and how these important historic resources have been considered in the University’s most recent campus master plan. Lastly the session will explore how innovative solutions and new techniques, such as point cloud analysis were incorporated into the process of restoring the Yamasaki-designed reflecting pool and sculpture gardens at MMCC. A short, guided tour of central campus will allow participants to experience the Yamasaki buildings in their context and explore the reflecting pond and sculpture garden at the heart of the McGregor Memorial Conference Center landscape.
THEATERS OF DETROIT - GORGEOUS TO GARAGES
Friday, Nov 11, 9:00a-1:00p
In the early twentieth century, Detroit’s theatres were emblematic of the wealth and technical aptitude of Detroit’s broader cultural attitudes. Participants will visit three historic theaters that present different preservation challenges and triumphs. Albert Kahn’s 1911 National Theatre, of an eclectic Moorish-style, was vacant for over thirty years, but is the oldest surviving theater in Detroit. Listed on the NRHP in 1978, it is presented with significant structural challenges. The development team will present how they plan to save the building and incorporate the historic white glazed terra-cotta and gold-domed entry facade. The Fox Theatre, designed by C. Howard Crane in 1928 with a lavish Art Deco interior and over 5,000 seats, is the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s nationwide, and the largest of the original Fox Theatres. The building was listed as a NHL in 1989 and is considered one of the catalyst projects to spawn preservation within the city. The Fisher Theatre, housed in one of Detroit’s most celebrated Art Deco skyscrapers, originally featured an elaborate Aztec-themed interior for the vaudeville productions. In 1961, a major renovation to bring the theatre up to Broadway standards, featured a simple mid-century design, which has acquired its own significance.
FS 12 ***SOLD OUT***
CRANBROOK - EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND ART AT “THE MOST ENCHANTED AND ENCHANTING SETTING IN AMERICA.”
Friday, Nov 11, 9:00a-2:00p
A designated NHL, the campus of Cranbrook Schools is a celebration of design and artistry including exemplary examples of modern, mid-century, and contemporary architecture. Designed by world-renowned Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, the Cranbrook campus is a living collection of masterworks by architects such as Albert Kahn, Eliel Saarinen, Rafael Moneo, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, Steven Holl, and Peter Rose. Participants will be inspired by the Eliel Saarinen 1942 design of the Cranbrook Art Museum, among the first contemporary art museums in America. After a short walk, through beautiful gardens and intricate brick arches, participants will discover the Saarinen House. Designed in the late 1920s by Eliel Saarinen for himself and his wife Loja, Saarinen House features furnishings by Eliel, textiles by Loja, and early furniture designs by their son, Eero. The tour will move on to Cranbrook House and Gardens, the 1908 English Arts and Crafts style house designed by Albert Kahn for Cranbrook founders George Booth and Ellen Scripps Booth. Other short stops will view more examples of Cranbrook architecture including Kingswood School, Cranbrook School, Brookside School, and will include discussions on work done to restore and maintain architecture across this active campus.
DETROIT’S MAJESTIC MASONIC: PRESERVATION AT THE WORLD’S LARGEST MASONIC TEMPLE
Friday, Nov 11, 12:30p-4:00p
With 1,037 rooms, the Detroit Masonic Temple is an architectural marvel steeped in symbolism. Designed by George D. Mason, the 550,000-square-foot, neo-Gothic complex was constructed between 1920 and 1926 and is listed in the NRHP. A place of deep significance to the tens of thousands of Masons who have held membership here, the building has also hosted illustrious music and stage performances, important cultural events, and the International Auto Show. A shining example of the skilled building trades working during the twentieth century, the ornately decorated and vast building presents inherent challenges to the contemporary conservator and user. In 2018, the Masonic Temple Association began a two-year effort that included decorative paint, metal and plaster restoration, upgrades to accessibility and life safety, MEP improvements, master planning and historically sensitive rehabilitation of an underutilized parlor for rental space. The project also addressed the building’s limestone envelope. This field session presents a behind the scenes look at this unique architectural marvel. An education on Masonic ritual and symbolism will accompany the tour of the Ritual Tower. The session tour will also take participants to unfinished spaces, areas traditionally off-limits to the public.
FS 14***SOLD OUT***
PRESERVATION BY ASSEMBLY – THE HENRY FORD AND GREENFIELD VILLAGE
Friday, Nov 11, 12:00p-6:00p
Participants will focus on two of the most recent restoration projects at Greenfield Village: the Sir John Bennett tower clock and the 1860 Detroit Central Farmers Market. Conservation specialists from The Henry Ford will compare the current restoration from the work completed ten years ago on the painted metal sculptures of the clock. They will show the process developed by collaborating with engineers from Ford Motor Company for the replication of one of the clock sculpture’s arms that involved 3D scanning, polymer printing, and electroplating. One block down Washington Street from the clock, is the newly erected Farmers Market shed. This enormous, timbered-framed roof originally supported only by slender, cast iron columns, has moved twice in its lifetime. The structural modifications, including an underground concrete moment frame and tie-rod supports for the timber, will be discussed. The restoration process for the original cast iron columns and for other decorative wood and metal elements will be presented. Following the formal tour, participants can explore Greenfield Village on their own before returning to Detroit.
ETHNIC SIGNATURES OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD - DETROIT’S RELIGIOUS ARCHITECTURE
Friday, Nov 11, 1:00p-5:00p
Detroit is home to more churches per square mile than any other city in the United States. Participants will visit the rich architectural traditions of Detroit’s religious sites at the Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit, Christ Church, and the Isaac Agree Synagogue, as well as a windshield tour of many others. Founded in 1701, Ste. Anne’s is the second oldest continuously operating Catholic parish in the country. Built in 1887, the gothic revival church, designed by architects Albert E. French and Leon Coquard, with its flying buttresses, gargoyles, and ornate painted interior expresses the area’s French history. It also houses the oldest stained glass in the city of Detroit. Christ Church, constructed from 1860-1863, was also built in the Gothic Revival style and features a distinctive hipped roof bell tower. The limestone and sandstone exterior and intricate interior woodwork exhibit the English roots of the congregation. Among the church’s stained-glass windows are two Tiffany windows. The Isaac Agree Synagogue was established in 1921 and is the last remaining Jewish synagogue in the city. Since the 1960’s, the congregation has been situated in a unique triangular-shaped building, which is currently under renovation. Participants will be introduced to Detroit’s Jewish history and the vision for community growth and outreach through the building’s revitalization.
RESURRECTING HISTORIC FORT WAYNE: A NEW INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY OFFERS OPPORTUNITY
Friday, Nov 11, 1:00p-5:00p
Strategically located on the Detroit River, Historic Fort Wayne (1851) was the third and final fort built in an effort to control the Great Lakes region. The era of the United States military at the Fort began in 1851 and concluded after World War II; however, human habitation in the area dates to ~1000 BC to 1600 CE. Listed on the NRHP in 1971, the 83-acre site with over 40 historic buildings has faced disinvestment and deferred maintenance over the past 70 years. Hope for exposure, investment, and revitalization is spurred by key projects such as the Gordie Howe International Bridge project, the Joe Louis Greenway, and the Delray Neighborhood Framework and Economic Development Plan. Participants will focus on the vision to revitalize the Fort as an educational and recreational destination through a presentation of the chronological history of the land and a guided tour of the campus. Buildings, in various states of disrepair, will be examined and discussed. Historic Fort Wayne is a transparent example of the adaptive reuse of a historic landmark in an economically efficient manner. Perhaps there is no clearer vision of Looking Back/Driving Forward than standing in front of the oldest human-made structure in Detroit – the burial mound – and witnessing the brand-new Gordie Howe International Bridge being constructed in the background.