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Summer reading list for Detroit architecture and landmarks

Great Architecture of Michigan
Great Architecture of Michigan
MAF with photographs by Balthazar Korab; text by John Gallagher

The stated mission of the non-profit Michigan Architectural Foundation (MAF) is to help the public understand, evaluate, and enjoy architecture and recognize the importance of the built environment. As such they support the publication of books that help to accomplish those goals. Following are MAF-recommended books to add to summer reading lists:

Great Architecture of Michigan (2008)
Photographs by Balthazar Korab; Text by John Gallagher

“In addition to icons....this volume includes vernacular charms,..architectural survivors,...and some thirty-five private homes. A spirited collection of churches, theaters, office towers, stadiums, and government buildings rounds out the selections. The emphasis throughout is to help the public see, understand, and appreciate what makes these buildings great.

The combination of Korab’s artful yet documentary photographs, Gallagher’s evocative yet concise descriptions, and an elegant and clear design make this book one to be treasured for years to come.”

BUILDINGS WE GATHER IN: The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island 1887
George Mason of Mason and Rice

“When the Grand Hotel opened at the height of the Gilded Age, it joined many other historic resort hotels across America. Today it remains one of the few survivors, and without doubt one of the best. Architect-builder Charles W. Caskey executed the plans drawn up by Detroit architect George Mason, and everywhere we see Mason's sure hand and eye for detail. The slender columns that frame the great porch, the rounded ends of the veranda that soften what might otherwise be severe straight lines, and the open central belvedere that punctuates the skyline all attest to Mason's skill. Can there be a grander spot to enjoy a summer morning or to survey the vistas of the Straits of Mackinac? A Michigan masterpiece in every way.”

Detroit Architecture - The “AIA Guidebook to Detroit“
“...documents the architecture of Detroit through photographs, written descriptions and maps and is an excellent resource for self-guided tours of the city. Compiled by Eric Hill, FAIA and John Gallagher, architectural writer for the Detroit Free Press, the 350-page soft cover book is available through the AIA Michigan office.”

“American City - Detroit Architecture 1845-2005”
“...a recently issued large format book representing the architecture of Detroit, the first such book in over thirty years. Sponsored in part through a grant from the MAF, American City 'showcases a Detroit that will surprise many and bring long-overdue attention to the city‘s heritage of fine design.' The book is available at local bookstores.”  

For more information

Michigan Architectural Foundation (MAF)

AIA Michigan office - books can be ordered at 313-965-4100

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To go back to the main page for Detroit Landmarks columns click here.
To go to the Detroit Landmarks Examiner’s Recommendations page click here.

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