After we announced the Michigan Modern project, there was a healthy discussion on the SHPO’s listserv. Here is a summary of that discussion:
I think there is one largely overlooked gem in Ann Arbor, the Muschenheim residence, designed by the owner, a famous European architect who helped found the Modern Movement as an original member of CIAM. He came to Ann Arbor late in his career as faculty at U of M and designed his own house in the Modern style. He has died, but the house is still largely intact.
Norm Tyler, May 27, 2009
Sadly, one of Alden’s homes in the Port Huron area was recently demolished, built for the Duffy family (who owned the Port Huron & Detroit Railroad) in the late 1940′s early 1950′s. It was located in the 5000 block of Lakeshore Road in Fort Gratiot township, on the shores of Lake Huron. Dow also designed a tennis court/ gazebo/ arbor to go with the house, which I believe still stands.
McMorran Place in Port Huron, designed by Alden Dow and built between 1957 and 1965, and whose theater was recently renovated, including a specially designed curtain by Dow, remains intact (albeit highly fought over due to budget cuts at the City of Port Huron), however.
TJ Gaffney, May 27, 2009
You might want to include houses in the Ann Arbor area by George Brigham and Robert Metcalf. Dow’s City Hall in Ann Arbor is having an addition added to it which detracts from its central position in the center of open space, much like a court house. We have knowledgeable people here who have written about all the buildings Dow designed in Ann Arbor, and there are many. His home for his sister, Margaret Towsley at 1000 Berkshire, designed in 1932, is said to be the first home in the country with an attached garage facing the street. We also have a great house at 1223 Pontiac Trail designed by George Brigham for Art Professor Jean-Paul Slusser in 1939. And W.H. Auden lived there to boot!
Susan Wineberg, May 27, 2009
Mr. Tyler is referring to William Muschenheim (born in New York City in 1902, attended MIT for three years and then went to Germany and studied there. His father owned the NYC Astor Hotel and had an estate in the Hampton’s. He worked in NYC until 1952 when he accepted a teaching position at the U of M). Taught there until into the 1970′s as I recall. Died in January 1990) and his 1952 house at 1251 Heatherway, Ann Arbor.
He also designed the Don Rutledge Hse in 1957 in Barton Hills, MI, as well as designed various re-modelings for his neighbor Barton Harrison. The Bentley Historical Library at the U of M has an on-line Muschenheim Digital Archive of his life and work.
Melvyn A. Skvarla, May 27,2009
Thanks for filling in the information. It all seems to be correct from what I know of his career. He often talked about his growing up at the Astor.
Norm Tyler, May 27, 2009
I think that the whole Brigham-Metcalf-Tiv Balogh connection is important here in Ann Arbor, and is sort of a “school” in this area. I think that Bob Metcalf could share a lot on the evolution of residential modernism in Ann Arbor, since he worked for George Brigham and Tiv Balogh worked for Bob. There are similarities in their work. There may be other disciples of that group that Bob could identify. Of course Bob also taught at UM, and likely influenced to others via that route also.
Greg Jones, May 28, 2009
I wrote a research paper on Geo Brigham’s work while I was in the Masters program in Architecture here at Michigan, for Leonard Eaton’s seminar if anyone wants a copy of that.
Lorri Sipes, May 28, 2009
Susan, I’m one of the Commissioners for the Washtenaw County Historic District Commission, by way of introduction. I want to tap your resevoir of knowledge about architectual designs by Herman Pipp. He did the AA Arcade Bldg. and I believe he did my home at 204 Elm Street in Ypsilanti. The only archival note that I have found is at Bentley over a map for something at AA. I’d like of course to find original building plans but I would be happy just to have some positive proof that this house was his design. Thanks.
Jasper Green Pennington, May 28, 2009
And Leonard Eaton wrote an article on George Brigham and his Ann Arbor houses.
Kathryn Eckert, May 28, 2009
If the Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor is a typical example of Herman Pipp’s work he should NOT be considered a part of the Michigan Modern tradition.
Melvyn A. Skvarla, May 29,2009
Hi Jasper, I have a long list of buildings Herman Pipp designed but nothing in Ypsilanti at all. perhaps it is incomplete. In addition to the Nickels Arcade, he designed The Marchese Bldg on S. Main, Barton Hills Country Club, houses for oliphant and Underdown in Barton Hils, the Majestic and Whitney theaters, some storefront on S. State and Main, Alpha Chi Omega, City Hall (old one) St. Thomas Convent, and the Schimid house at 438 S. Fifth Ave in 1924. These are a little too early for Modernist I think. There is an article about his houses in Burns Park in the AA Observer of December 1983. He also had a brother Henry who was a contractor in Ann Arbor and lived on Fuller overlooking the train station. This is all I know.
Susan Wineberg, May 29, 2009
I have a sorority sister in my alumnae group in Bloomfield Hills, whose recently deceased husband (Maurice Allen) worked with one of the Saarinens. She was pleased that their office on Long Lake Road, just west of Woodward, was restored to its rightful purpose. Unfortunately, she does not have a computer, but I can get in touch with her, to see what info she might be able to provide. if this would be of value. Please let me know.
Linda Rivetto, May 29, 2009
Of course the Governor’s residence in Lansing should be highlighted. I could help here I was researching this property
Rick Kuss, June 3, 2009
There is a major retrospective exhibition on the work of Eero Saarinen currently circulating the U.S. Sponsored by the Finnish hardware firm of Assa Abloy and organized by the Finnish Cultural Institute in NYC, the Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki; and the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. with the support of the Yale University School of Architecture.
I believe it opened at Cranbrook Art Museum and various locations in Europe prior to the National Building Museum, Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future will be traveling to The Minneapolis Institute of Art and Walker Art Center, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis (where it just completed its run),and then to the Museum of the City of New York, finally and Yale University Art Gallery and Yale School of Art and Architecture in New Haven, CT..
A new exhibition, Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, makes a powerful case for recognizing Saarinen as an exceptionally innovative figure whose work has exerted a profound and continuous influence on architectural theory and practice for more than a half-century. The first full retrospective of Saarinen’s career, this exhibition sheds new light on “the least-known famous architect of the 20th century” and firmly places him among the leading modernist designers.
The exhibition also examines Saarinen as a person, as well as his relationships with family, colleagues, and the press; “Building for Postwar America” explores the wide range of Saarinen’s projects and their cultural significance. Featured works include the sculpturally evocative TWA Terminal at what is now Kennedy International Airport in New York; the groundbreaking John Deere Headquarters in Moline, Illinois, which was the first major building to use Cor-ten steel; and the serene Kresge Chapel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lesser-known, unbuilt works presented in the exhibition include the winning proposal, designed by Saarinen in association with his father Eliel, for a new Smithsonian Gallery of Art, which was to have been located on the National Mall.
The exhibition was inspired by the 2002 donation of the Eero Saarinen and Associates office archives, which had been privately held since the architect’s death in 1961, to Yale University. Scholars accessing the material for the first time discovered numerous sketches, correspondence, and other items that had never been published or displayed before. The exhibition includes many of these never-before-seen drawings and documents, along with large-scale models, photographs, a full-scale façade mock-up, original furniture samples, and a specially-commissioned documentary film by KDN Films featuring interviews with some of Saarinen’s prominent colleagues and collaborators.
A comprehensive, 382-page catalogue featuring essays and a survey of more than 100 of Saarinen’s projects accompanies the exhibition. Donald Albrecht, curator of the exhibition, co-edited the catalogue along with Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, assistant professor at the Yale School of Architecture.
Eero Saarinen’s daughter is a landscape architect with her own firm in Boulder, Colorado. She spoke at a conference in St. Louis and has many fond memories of her father.
Melvyn A. Skvarla, June 3, 2009
If you are near Huntington Woods we do have one of the very few Eero Saarinen houses built here in our Hill Historic district. The plans are archived at the Cranbrook Museum in Bloomfield Hills
Hank Berry, June 4, 2009
Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I would definitely include Ruth Adler Schnee. Here’s some info:
Detour Detroit, June 4, 2009