Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright To Googie
By Professor Susan J. Bandes
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Capital Area District Library, 401 S. Capitol Ave.
Learn more about Lansing’s modernist architects and some of their notable architectural creations from Susan J. Bandes, author of “Mid-Michigan Modern: Lansing Architects and Their Clients” as she does a talk and power point presentation on Mid-Michigan Modern: Lansing Architects and Their Clients, 7 p.m., Thursday, March 23 at the newly renovated downtown branch of the Capitol Area District Library.
The Library is one of Lansing’s most revered modernist structures and is the work of Lansing architect Kenneth Black. Bandes’ book will be available for purchase.
Bandes, who teaches art history and is director of museum studies at MSU, also was one of the curators on the exhibit "Minds of Modernism" which is on display at the Michigan Historical Museum.
In her new book, Bandes has collected documents, photographs, and oral histories featuring more than 130 modernist structures that were built in the East Lansing, Okemos, and Lansing aea between 1940 and 1970.
“Included in her book are homes, offices and sacred places you drive by every day, but really don’t know the story behind the building,” said Bill Castanier, president of the Historical Society of Greater Lansing.
For example, the Michigan Medical Society building on West Saginaw in East Lansing is a classic example of modernism and was designed by the architect of the Twin Towers, Minoru Yamasaki. Bandes also delves into unique modernism structures like East Lansing’s Dawn Donuts.
One classic example of a home designed in the modernist vein is the soaring “airplane house” on Moores River Dr. which was designed for the aviator-entrepreneur Talbert Abrams and built to look like the shadow a plane casts while in the air.
Longtime Lansing residents also will remember the Liebermann’s gift shop in downtown Lansing. The building one Washington Square is the only commercial structure designed by George Nelson who was Director of Design for Herman Miller.
The Minds of Modernism exhibit includes architectural drawings, building models, and representative commercial products from noted designers such as Eero Saarinen and that reflect the Modernist era.