Lafayette Park (1946) Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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    Also known as Mies van der Rohe Residential District, Lafayette Park is a 193-acre area of downtown Detroit planned by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Ludwig Hilberseimer. This sweep of green is dotted with trees and contains playing fields, tennis courts, and a series of curving walkways. On its periphery are eight housing complexes, a shopping center, and a public school. Although Mies van der Rohe was to have designed all of the park's buildings, only the high-rise Pavilion Apartments, the twin Lafayette Towers, and the low-rise Mies van der Rohe Townhouses were built to his specifications. With their skeletal framing, aluminum and glass "skins," and spare, open interiors, these buildings typify Mies's distinctive post-World War II style. Set in a naturalistic landscape designed by Alfred Caldwell, the area has often been described as a "suburb in the city". The thoughtful planting scheme, open green space of the park, scale and placement of Mies's buildings, and relative absence of cars are among the factors that help define the "suburban" quality.

    Information taken from National Register of Historic Places nomination form. More information can be found at www.michiganmodern.org

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