Don’t miss this winter’s exhibition on Eero Saarinen at the Cranbrook Museum of Art. Writing in Metropolis about the show, Jayne Merkel notes that Eero got his start at the side of his famous father Eliel, a Finnish architect. Eliel Saarinen designed much of the Cranbrook campus in Bloomfield Hills, including the museum and art academy buildings. The Cranbrook campus is now a National Historic Landmark; the young Eero, then in high school, reputedly designed some of the furnishings for the Kingswood School. After Eliel’s death in 1950 and his own graduation from Yale, Eero based his architecture firm out of Bloomfield Hills, a community now somewhat notorious among designer types for its heavy-handed gold and black signage ordinance.
Eero Saarinen famously designed the TWA Terminal at JFK airport in Queens, New York City, Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C., and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. In the Detroit area, Saarinen’s most notable work was the terrific GM Tech Center in Warren, where your faithful blogger’s father earned the coin to send me off to college (twice!). Here’s a good write-up of the GM project, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
And, in Preservation Wayne news, the Second Training Session for Tour School is tomorrow: Saturday, February 2nd, at 10am. See the home page for more information.
In June 1963, only two months before his most famous speech, Dr. King spoke in Detroit at the recently opened Cobo Hall; ironically, a venue named after a mayor hostile to civil rights. The speech concluded a march of more than 100,000 people down Woodward Avenue, including then mayor Jerome Cavanagh. The King Center has a transcript of this speech.
Many cities across America boast major boulevards and schools renamed after the civil rights leader, and Detroit is no exception.
Extending west from Woodward to West Grand Boulevard, Detroit’s Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard spans a wide section of central Detroit. At one point, MLK Jr. Boulevard intersects with Rosa Parks Boulevard (12th Street, the epicenter of the 1967 Detroit riot/rebellion).
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, the former Eastern High School, is on Lafayette, across the street from Elmwood Cemetery. Yet another famous Detroit mayor graduated from Eastern before its relocation to a modern building in 1966. Eastern was renamed in 1968, after King’s untimely death.