Midwest Metropolis Enjoying A Real Renaissance

What city was named a top U.S. destination for 2024 by Condé Nast Traveler and AD, plus lays claim to having the 5th best large U.S. airport? Detroit may not have been the first place to pop into your head, but if it was, you would be correct.  Part of the appeal of Detroit lies in its history of great design, which continues into the present day. Interiors, architecture, landscape, and the designers and artists who choose to make Detroit home are all part of this story. The midwest metropolis has been enjoying a real renaissance in recent years, attracting those seeking to lay down roots, and businesses alike. ASID NY Metro member Edward Hogikyan is one of those people. The NYC resident and Detroit native recently purchased an apartment in an iconic mid-century modern high-rise downtown and is looking forward to dividing his time between the two cities.  Here, Edward shares a few of his Detroit design favorites. From Art Deco marvels like the Guardian Building to Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park, “The Motor City”  is chock full of aesthetic eye candy. 

  • Cranbrook Educational Community is located in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills and boasts a long history of design legends.  The campus features buildings designed by Eliel Saarinen, Loja Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tod Wiliams and Billie Tsien, and Rafael Moneo, to name a few.  And graduates of the Cranbrook Academy of Art include design luminaries such as Florence Knoll, Jack Lenore Larsen, Harry Bertois, Nick Cave, Hani Rashid, and Duane Hanson. The Cranbrook Art Museum is not to be missed!
  • The Guardian Building is but one example of Art Deco architecture on view throughout Detroit. Built in 1929, it also boasts some tremendous painted murals and ceilings, stained glass, mosaics, intricate tile work, marble fixtures and a vaulted lobby.
  • Detroit Foundation Hotel, which opened in May 2017, seamlessly blends modern design with historic charm. Featuring 100 well-appointed hotel rooms, an on-site restaurant with a Michelin-star chef, and an artful ambiance filled with works by local artists and designers, this unique establishment has established itself in the transformed space of the former Detroit Fire Department garage – now known as the Apparatus Room.
  • Le Suprême is a recently opened French brasserie in the newly renovated Book Building in Downtown Detroit.  On top of rave reviews for its food, and one of the most coveted reservations to get, the beautiful interior immediately transports you to the City of Lights.
  • Mies van der Rohe designed a number of buildings in the Lafayette Park area of downtown Detroit.  Included are townhouses and two high-rise rental buildings.  The townhouses are coveted properties that clearly reflect the architect's design aesthetic with strict rules in place to preserve the original designs. The area was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1915.  Some townhouses have private outdoor gardens.
  • Shinola Hotel is this Detroit-based luxury design brand's first boutique hotel.  It comprises five historic buildings including the former home of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. It has a number of dining and shopping options, beautifully designed and decorated spaces, as well as an art collection featuring works by Detroit based and/or educated artists including Beverly Fishman, Nick Cave, Jason Revok, and Charles McGee.  
  • Belle Isle, a beautiful park that also boasts an aquarium and conservatory, includes in its roster of original designers, Frederick Law Olmsted, who, of course, designed NYC's Central Park. It also boasts a recently built public garden designed by Dutch landscape designer, Piet Oudolf.  

Photo credits - From top to bottom: Cranbrook (James Haefner), Cranbrook Art Museum (PD Rearick); Guardian Building (Helmut Ziewers), Detroit Foundation Hotel (courtesy of hotel);The Apparatus Room (courtesy of Detroit Foundation Hotel); Mies van der Rohe townhouse, Shinola Hotel (Marcus Manoogian), Belle Isle Conservatory

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