Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival

Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival

For most of the 20th century, Detroit was our nation’s economic dynamo. This heritage is reflected in the treasure trove of outstanding historic homes, buildings, and factories that still define the cityscape. While Detroit has struggled into the 21st century, its role as a center for architectural innovation is undiminished. With stunning early 20th-century mansions, grand Art Deco skyscrapers, and surprising mid-century masterpieces, the Motor City has more to offer than most realize. Explore the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Lafayette Park, Eastern Market, private homes, and special projects by local preservation organizations. Learn about how Detroit is rebounding while experiencing the innovative and seminal works of great architects like Eliel Saarinen, Daniel Burnham, Cass Gilbert, John Burgee, Albert Kahn, Minoru Yamasaki, and Mies van der Rohe along the way.

Architectural Adventures is delighted to extend this unique opportunity to experience Detroit on a tour offered in connection with our friends at National Trust Tours.

Call now to book! 1.800.293.5725 (Max. guests 30)

Architectural expert: Stephen Vogel, Distinguished Professor of Architecture

Architectural highlights:

  • Take a private architectural tour of Eero Saarinen’s General Motors Technical Center, an iconic example of total design cohesion, usually closed to the public.
  • Explore an ensemble of architecturally significant buildings at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, celebrated as the “cradle of American modernism.”
  • Tour recently restored spectacles, including the 1920s Fox Theatre, one of Detroit’s most extravagant and fanciful movie palaces, and Howard Crane’s iconic Detroit Opera House.
  • Learn from prominent figures in Detroit’s architecture, city planning, and real estate development scenes.
  • Be invited into private homes designed by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Enjoy the leadership of Stephen Vogel, FAIA, distinguished professor of architecture at University of Detroit Mercy, who spearheads international discussions on the issues of shrinking cities and community renewal.

More highlights:

  • Meet with Detroit’s preservation leaders who were on the frontlines of restoration efforts in the wake of the city’s bankruptcy, and gain entrance to recently restored historic buildings.
  • Tour the city’s late-19th and early-20th century neighborhoods that boast a variety of architectural styles and learn more about the efforts to preserve their history and character.
  • Enjoy a Saturday morning visit to Eastern Market, the largest historic public market district in the United States—a truly quintessential Detroit experience!
  • This trip qualifies for up to 16 AIA learning units.

Accommodation: Foundation Hotel

Opened in May 2017, the five-story, 100-room Foundation Hotel embodies much of the Motor City's distinct charm. Once the Detroit Fire Department Headquarters, the Neoclassical brick building is now an art-rich center awash in amenities and ideally situated downtown. With spaces designed for socializing, creating, eating, drinking, and relaxing, the hotel brings together travelers and neighbors, showcasing Detroit’s legacy and knack for innovation. The design aesthetic features modern and industrial flourishes set amidst vintage pieces. Photos and artwork from local artists line the walls. The hotel’s restaurant, The Apparatus Room, offers a regional experience through the culinary style of Michigan-native and two Michelin-starred chef Thomas Lents. The bar doubles as a coffee counter serving products from Anthology Coffee LLC of Detroit. Amenities include Le Labo guest room toiletries, complimentary Wi-Fi access, a 24-hour business center kiosk, a 24-hour fitness center and complimentary workout classes, and complimentary Detroit Bikes rental.

Also included:

  • An experienced Tour Director, in addition to the Architectural Adventures Educational Expert.
  • Land transportation by private motor coach as outlined in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
  • Water, soft drinks, and coffee are included with each lunch and dinner; two glasses of wine are included at dinners.

This event was submitted by an ArchDaily user. If you'd like to submit an event, please use our "Submit a Event" form. The views expressed in announcements submitted by ArchDaily users do not necessarily reflect the views of ArchDaily.

Cite: "Architectural Adventures: Detroit—Motor City’s Architectural Revival" 16 Nov 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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