Research

Another Fall Class at WCC

Learn how Washtenaw County was at the forefront of mid-century modern architecture with U-M faculty, and people trained under them, designing for a population willing to commission this then-radical style. You will also examine the importance of Michigan in the spread of mid-century modern in automobile design, Herman Miller furniture and the Cranbrook Educational Community and its influence among them. Two PowerPoint presentations will highlight these buildings, while two walking tours, that will include some inside visits, will show...

Fall class at WCC

If you are interested in 20th century architecture, design and furniture, this is the class for you. We will investigate mid-century modern design with an emphasis on historical aspects of domestic surroundings, including an investigation of the Bauhaus school and it's influence on 20th & 21st century interiors.  Your personal goals, interests and preferences will be determined in the first class, with a discussion of a possible field trip and outside speakers. The class, entitled "20th...

A Review of Albert Kahn: Under Construction

Albert Kahn: Under Construction A Review of the Albert Kahn Building Projects, 1903 – 1943, University of Michigan Museum of Art February 27 to July 3 The north wall on level three at the University of Michigan Museum of Art has become Bentley Historical Library turf in the ongoing collaboration between these two kindred institutions. Albert Kahn: Under Construction, a gathering of documentary photographs generated by Detroit architect Albert Kahn’s building projects around the...

Tale of a House: Architect Priscilla Baxter Neel

IN the fall of 2015 Dr. Mary Ann Hunting of New York City wrote a query to Washtenaw County Historical Society for information on a female architect who had designed the home at 2235 Belmont here in Ann Arbor. The architect’s name was Priscilla Baxter Neel. Dr. Hunting was writing a book on women architects. A graduate of Vanderbilt and CUNY, she had previously done a book about Edward Durrell...

Wells Ira Bennett, Educator and Architect

Wells I. Bennett led the College of Architecture and the University of Michigan as Dean from 1938 to 1957. Arriving at the university in 1912 as Instructor, Bennett rose to leadership through his early interest in low-cost housing and city planning. As a practicing architect in Ann Arbor, Bennett was active after 1921, developing a considerable residential practice mainly with faculty clients. Taking a sabbatical leave in 1932-33 to study schools...

event: modern living program

EMU Preservation Research Techniques Presentations Homeowners and a2modern members are invited to attend presentations about a selection of modern homes designed by significant architects that worked in Ann Arbor neighborhoods – Alden Dow, David Osler, James Livingston, Thomas Tanner, Robert Pond and Tivadar Balogh. Students in the Eastern Michigan University Historic Preservation Research Techniques course GHPR 602 taught by Dr. Ted Ligibel will present their findings December 8th and 15th.  The students...

Modern in Context

This article provides additional context for what was happening in design, education and practice during the "modern" period. All which influenced architecture and design in Ann Arbor. Another excellent resource for research and practice specific to the University of Michigan is More than a handsome box : education in architecture at the University of Michigan, 1876-1986 by Nancy R. Bartlett, Ann Arbor, Mich. : University of Michigan...

What is modern: characteristics of modern architecture

What is different about modern architecture? a2 modern member, Greg Jones, A.I.A., summarizes some of the common characteristics of this period of architecture. Characteristics of Mid-Century Modern: Lack of ornament: Decorative moldings and elaborate trim are eliminated or greatly simplified, giving way to a clean aesthetic where materials meet in simple, well-executed joints. Emphasis of rectangular forms and horizontal and vertical lines: Shapes of houses are based boxes,...