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Mies’ Lafayette designated US national landmark

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Mies van der Rohe’s Lafayette Park in Detroit has been named a National Historic Landmark by the US National Park Service

The park on the outskirts of downtown Detroit, is the largest collection of buildings designed by the modernist architect.

Last week it was named as one of four developments to be added to the 2,564-strong list of protected historic landmarks across the US.

The nomination for the park was put together on behalf of Michigan State Historic Preservation office by Quinn Evans Architects, as part of a larger project to promote the state’s mid-century modern architecture.

Van der Rohe’s scheme was one of America’s first large-scale urban renewal projects and controversially involved clearing the Detroit’s Black Bottom neighbourhood.  

Completed in 1959, the 32 hectare scheme includes three 22-storey apartment towers, 186 co-operatively-owned townhouses, a school, shops and a 52,000m2 park.

In a statement the National Park Service, said: ‘Lafayette Park is one of the earliest planned and most fully-realized urban renewal projects of the mid-twentieth century. 

‘It succeeded in creating an ethnically-diverse community that continues to thrive today and is generally regarded as one of the best and most successful examples of a residential urban renewal development in the nation.’

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