Monday, November 24, 2008

Detroit's Unique Neighborhoods: Lafayette Park

Lafayette Towers Apartments East (1301 Orleans...Image via Wikipedia
If you're driving around downtown Detroit, you can't miss it: the 78-acre Lafayette Park Group of housing options. There are apartment co-ops called the Pavillon, low-level townhomes, and the seminal Lafayette Towers. Lafayette Park is on both the City of Detroit and National Historic Registers. Designed by world-renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the site was intended to diversify the residential area, although the historic Black Bottom neighborhood on which Lafayette Park is built was razed with the enlargement of the I-75 freeway. The Lafayette Park site is the largest collection of Mies van der Rohe buildings in one place in the world.





 



Lafayette Park Detroit includes shoppingImage via Wikipedia




The area is intended to be a "walkable neighborhood", with extensive greenspace and a network of pedestrian walkways to allow residents to shop at the mini-shopping plaza and attend the public school without crossing a major thoroughfare.  Each of the three types of housing in Lafayette Park was designed with Mies van der Rohe's signature use of steel, glass, and concrete. Lafayette Park is located just east of downtown near Chene Park, Belle Isle, and the I-375 connector to I-75. The shopping center, which had been in decline, has begun a renaissance, including a new full-service grocery store. The boundaries of Lafayette Park roughly include: Rivard, East Lafayette, Orleans, and Antietam.


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