QEA is helping preserve the legacy of Lafayette Park in Detroit, one of the city’s mid-century Modern landmarks.
Our National Historic Landmark nomination documents the significance of Lafayette Park’s buildings and landscapes as one of the first, and most successful, urban renewal projects in the country. For the Lafayette Towers, designed by Mies van der Rohe, we planned for the renewal of the buildings’ systems and historic curtain wall while improving their energy efficiency and restoration of the unusual recreational space on the rooftop terrace of the parking garage.
renewing mid-century icons
QEA’s work at Lafayette Park directly addresses some of the key challenges in documenting and renewing mid-century Modern resources. The urban renewal movement of the 1950s and 1960s left a mixed and sometimes troubling legacy, and our research at Lafayette Park both recognizes the difficulties and celebrates the successes. Many mid-century architects and builders experimented with new materials and assemblies that have subsequently failed or fallen short of modern requirements. QEA’s work at the Lafayette Towers repairs these deficiencies while retaining the historic character of the era.