Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Phone Call

The Lafayette building has recently found itself the next target in the City of Detroit's non-stop effort to "cleanse the city of its eyesores" and create more parking. This fact became known just recently, as the city's development arm raced to solicit bids to tear down the structure, a 1924 landmark designed by C. Howard Crane, the architecture maestro who gave us the Fox Theater.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're not immediately familiar with the structure, even though it is visible from Campus Martius Park. It's not Detroit's most famous building, but it is spectacular. Sadly, due to a staggering 1920s construction boom, we're a little bit architecturally spoiled in this town, and sometimes even splendid buildings can go under appreciated.

However, this one in particular seems worthy of our admiration. When this V-shaped building was designed, according to Buildings of Detroit, it was envisioned to be “Michigan’s finest office building,” and was "outfitted with marble drinking fountains and bronze and American walnut trimmings," while "its roof line features a gorgeous ridge of terra cotta featuring hundreds of intricate fleur de lis."

With these descriptions just a sample of this building's beauty, we can be thankful that one of Detroit's great preservation organizations, Preservation Wayne, in tandem with Buildings of Detroit, stepped up to the challenge protecting this wonder from the wrecking ball.

Inspired by their efforts, I wrote a brief email and addressed it to some city representatives, including the City Council, the Mayor, and the President of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

The next morning, before I awoke, I was startled by my phone ringing. I glanced at the number, didn't recognize it, and let the call go to my voice mail.

Later, when I was finally awake, I listened to my voice mail, and was stunned to find this message:

"Hi, this is council member JoAnn Watson. I'm in receipt of your email urging that the Lafayette building not be demolished. I love your comments, as an environmental activist myself, and want to invite you to come to the city council on Thursday at 10 am to speak during public comment... To put your issue out there and see if we cant build some strong support, ok? 10am, 13th floor of the Coleman A Young municipal center... I hope you can make it this Thursday."
As I write this blog entry, I am preparing to go with some friends to take up the Councilwoman on her offer. I hope that the council is receptive, and I hope that this time around the preservationists are vindicated - we have enough parking lots.

For information on Preservation Wayne, check out their site. To join the "Save the Lafayette Building" Facebook group, click here.

Photo courtesy of Buildings of Detroit.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Fling

Visit us at Spring Fling...A Craft Thing at The Loving Touch in Ferndale on Saturday, April 4th. It's free to get in and there will be 20 local craft and design vendors and great djs!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Detroit Map Wall Lamps are back!

After a brief hiatus, our popular Detroit map wall lamps are back - though only in a limited quantity! These lamps can be hung either on a flat wall or in a corner - adding a refined glow to any Detroit-lover's home. We think that they will be available for a couple of weeks. Check out our site to get more details.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Cards Are Here

Today we added two new press-printed greeting cards to our site. One design is based on a vintage Greetings from Detroit card (pictured in our most recent post) and the other is snappy adaptation of a vintage card that says "I'm very busy in Detroit, Mich." Check out the paper goods section of our website to see both of them. Special thanks to Buildings of Detroit for assistance with the images.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Cards

We're working hard to expand our card line. We have a bunch of ideas up our sleeves, but the first few we're adding to our line-up this Spring are adaptations of vintage postcards. Our good pal Dan collects cards and runs the Buildings of Detroit website. He was kind enough to let us use a couple of the images he has collected, including this one. Check them out on our website - we'll be adding new designs continually over the next couple weeks.