Letter from the Editor—Strong Foundation

Letter from the Editor—Strong Foundation

Several years ago, I picked up a friend from Metro airport.  He came to town for my wedding—this was his first time in Detroit.  I drove him through downtown to see the new Compuware building.  He was amazed by our architecture.  The Compuware building is great, but he loved the number of beautiful late nineteenth and early twentieth century Art Deco, Neo-Classical, and Neo-Renaissance buildings (to be honest, he said, “I love these old buildings.”).  We have beautiful old buildings.

Working downtown, I often walk or take a short drive at lunch.  I go by some of these skyscrapers and get lost in the intricate details that flourish all the way to the top (eyes on the road!). 

This past Friday, I ate lunch at the Book Cadillac.  What a great building, and what a great success story.  This is a luxurious hotel in an Italian Renaissance style.  For decades, the Book was a striking symbol of the forgotten past.  Yet in 2008 it re-opened as a striking symbol of a re-imagined past for an inspiring future.  When you visit the Book, you see a homage to the Renaissance Revival aesthetic from the outside married to an elegant modern aesthetic inside.  It is pure elegance.

As Detroiters, we have this humbling art all around us.  I admit that I do not know that much about the history of these buildings or the architects behind them.  So this week, I will try to give our beautiful buildings the coverage they deserve.  I will focus on photo essays, but I will also provide some background about the buildings and their architects.  If you are downtown this week and come across a stunning building (and if you are downtown this week, you will come across stunning buildings), please email me a picture to share with our readers (colindarke@thedetroiter.com).  And remember, for every building in disrepair there is a possible success story.