Monthly Archives: September 2011

Abandon

“But I’ve been sitting empty for the last fifteen years. Now the land under me is worth more than me. Fifteen years has past since I last felt the stream of electricity, gas and water run through me. I helplessly watched the streets and neighborhoods around me getting worse. But I tried my hardest to look proper, and make a solid contribution to this community. I played my part. … But the city has abandoned me.” -24620: The Fugitive House, Detroit, Kyong Park


Detroit Visit

Today was my first visit into Detroit since I’ve been home. My grandmother wanted to take me into “New Center”, where The Fisher Building, and the old General Motors Building are located.  These structures have great bones, and still stand tall and proud. (You can see more of the pictures I took in my flikr page.)

My grandparents also took me to The Michigan Central Depot Train Station this afternoon. It really is fascinating. I’ve never had the opportunity to get this close to this massive structure… its overwhelming. The entire building is surrounded with fences and barbed wire to keep people out. Windows have decayed and signs of vandalism can clearly be seen from the sidewalk. Concrete pavement now covers what used to be brick paved, and in some areas, you can still see the brick poking through. Apparently, the man who owns it also owns the Ambassador Bridge that leads to Canada, but refuses to both sell the building or restore it. There have been rumors lately that he is replacing the windows, giving hope to the city that they might once again see this beautiful building restored… however, upon my visit, I saw absolutely no evidence of restoration or renovation. I have many more things to see on my visit home, but I have a feeling that this building could lead me towards a point of departure for my thesis project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow I am planning on venturing into the city to see more historic structures, and at 6pm am going on a guided tour of some of the more popular vacant buildings in the city. Wish me luck!


Thesis Proposal

Revised Thesis
Proposed Thesis Topic:
Due to the social and economic crisis that has occurred in the city of Detroit, MI, there
exists a desire for change and a reinterpretation of government, housing, tourism and
economy. Is there an architectural project or urban infrastructure, efficient and strategic,
that may spur a catalyst for change?
How the project will develop into an architecture:
Proposed is a new master plan for Detroit, which will address the 80,000 abandoned
buildings (US News), the housing crisis, socio-economic issues, and will develop into an
architectural project focusing on urban density which will benefit the quality of life of the
users and bring vitality to a once prosperous city that is now in crisis.
Critical Position:
The architecture will be derived from the perspective and consideration of structure,
circulation, function created from a system of relationships, site context, cultural
variables, urban typology, with a focus on historical urban development as a point of
reference for research.

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