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Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies: Lafayette Park, Detroit (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Oktober 2012


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Amazon.com: 8 Rezensionen
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The impossible neighborhood 26. Mai 2013
Von Snorkledorf - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Right off I should point out that I grew up in Lafayette Park many decades ago (though I live in Japan now), so by no means am I an unbiased reviewer.

The only other volume I've found on Lafayette Park, Waldheim's 2004 Lafayette Park Detroit (CASE), focuses primarily on the architecture, so for that point of view I'd suggest hunting down that book.

In contrast "Thanks..." is unabashedly focused on the neighborhood's residents and their experiences. Living as they do in the heart of the apparent oxymoron "a lovely neighborhood in downtown Detroit," it's an interesting point of view that is rarely encountered in the media (whose only message seems to be "Detroit is long dead.") The Lafayette Park residents WANT to live there -- they've chosen to live there -- and this book, written by those residents, tries to show us why.

The architecture is certainly a vital component. More fascinating though is the way it's all come together to create an actual community, and how that community has remained solid, vibrant, and deeply integrated for over 50 years. More than anything, that's what this book is about. In this community, it just worked. Why?

"Thanks..." is close to 300 pages, almost completely in full color. It's split into three parts: "The Townhouses" (where I lived), "The Neighborhood," and "The High-Rises" (The Pavilion and the twin Lafayette Towers). The book concludes with a number of site plans and floor plans that give you the details that help you visualize along with the text. Throughout the book are innumerable photographs showing the neighborhood both as it is now and in years past, the diverse ways in which people have decorated their homes, and even some old documents like a couple of pages from a 1960s fundraiser cookbook!

Personally I loved the comparative shots taken from the same relative position in each unit, showing how differently the "same room" can be decorated. It was also fun to see the collection of photos documenting all of the original fixtures that I remember from my time there in the '70s (those window handles, that futuristic late-'50s fold-down stove...). As many of the units have inevitably been remodeled over the years, many of them quite attractively, it's nice to see photos preserving samples of the original aesthetic.

The appeal of life in Lafayette Park lies in the balance between Mies' glass-and-steel boxes with the landscaping that's only become more lush in the decades since I lived there (and it wasn't bad at all back then!). Each supports and balances the other, and the floor-to-ceiling glass walls in the townhouses really allow a feeling of being right there in the trees, and among your neighbors.

(A side note: one "problem" that I noticed long ago, and I laughed when I found it mentioned in the book, is that after growing up with two walls of your house being completely [I mean literally, truly] made of glass, I've never again found a home that feels like it has anywhere near enough windows.)

If you're interested in learning more about a community that's been relentlessly, anomalously successful in the heart of a city that's often been described in perhaps less-glowing terms, then I'd highly recommend "Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies."

And for me of course it was also a nice, big self-indulgent nostalgia-fest!
Fascinating Book and Creatively Conceived 1. Juni 2014
Von tyr - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I was barely aware of Mies' work on Lafayette Park and this book was a pure joy to read. Hats off to the authors for a creative way of telling the story; or, rather, letting others tell their stories. I'm glad it wasn't just a book about the architecture, landscape, and site. There's a lot of that here, but the human stories of the occupants are what really sets this apart. More architecture books need that kind of perspective. Well done.
OK but ultimately a lightweight. 29. Dezember 2013
Von Bruce M. Coleman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Seen from the user's perspective. always a useful thing, but it's largely anecdotal. Not a substantial or thorough survey. The interviews themselves are moderately informative but a more systematic work would have attempted to survey everyone on a standard series of questions that would have produced more data that in turn would have been more accurate. It's also impossible to compare the results with anything else so the developments of plan configuration, façade development, site planning landscaping and parking layout cannot be truly evaluated.
Great book 19. Juli 2013
Von GEORGIA LOZIER - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this for my nephew but he was thrilled with it and said the book is a keeper and he just love it so I am happy I ordered it for him. :)
4 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies: Lafayette Park, Detroit 28. Oktober 2012
Von Geoff Hiller - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This unique book brings Lafayette Park to life. Besides being beautifully designed, the stories and interviews really shed light on this Detroit community and the man responsible for building it. The authors show a genuine curiosity and tenderness for their subjects and the writing is filled with curiosity. It's rare to see a book that works both visually (excellent photography and design) and is also so well written and edited in such an original way.
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