Jul, 19, 2012,
9:37 AM

Video: Kevin Harrington’s talk on Lafayette Park

Lafayette Park, the Detroit urban renewal project, was made by a dream team. Mies was the architect, Ludwig Hilberseimer did the urban design, and Alfred Caldwell was the landscape designer.

For more on this collaboration, see this talk by Kevin Harrington, professor emeritus of Illinois Institute of Technology. He presented it Saturday, June 16 in S. R. Crown Hall in conjunction with the Mies Society exhibition, “Lafayette Park: The Settlement Shape.”

This show is up for one more week! See it Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, June 27 in Crown Hall, located at 3360 South State Street in Chicago on the IIT campus.

› Read more
Jul, 17, 2012,
4:13 PM

Airtight reason to be in Detroit on July 24

Artist Jaimie Henthorn is exploring historic architecture yet again through an upcoming performance in Detroit. For a taste of her work, check out this video of gravity-defying moves she staged last fall inside Mies’ Chapel at Illinois Institute of Technology. Elena Brocade was the aerialist.

Henthorn is behind the Tuesday, July 24 performance by Phaedra Eason and Corissa Leveille at 1342 Nicolet Place in Detroit’s Lafayette Park at 6:30 p.m. It is expected to last one hour and is accompanied by a reception. For details, contact Henthorn at jaimierenee@hotmail.com.

This event is concurrent with the Mies Society’s exhibition, “Lafayette Park: The Settlement Shape,” in S. R. Crown Hall through Friday, July 27 (on IIT’s Main Campus).

Above: Henthorn’s rendering of the July 24 performance in Lafayette Park. Henthorn is a doctoral candidate at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.

› Read more
Jul, 16, 2012,
11:17 AM

My Detail Runneth Over

Today we present an anonymous poet’s verse:

"Twenty-Third ‘SOM.’"

"Mies is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in glass boxes;

He leadeth me besides sterile buildings.

He restoreth my soul;

He leadeth me through the universal spaces for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
     Wright, I will fear no evil; for thou are with
     me; thy marble and thy bronze they comfort me;

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of everybody,

Thou anointest my head with modules; my detail runneth over.

Surely Johnson and Bunshaft shall follow me all thedays

     of my life, and I will dwell in the house of

     Seagram forever.”

Today’s historic item is courtesy of Betty Brown and the publication, “Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies,” 2012. If you would like to share ephemera from Lafayette Park, send us a copy at miesmembership@iit.edu.

› Read more
Jul, 16, 2012,
10:27 AM

A Girl Wrestler in Lafayette Park

The summer 1963 edition of the “Lafayette Sporadic,” a publication of Mies’ eponymous Detroit urban renewal project, profiled a resident celebrity athlete.

June Byers was her name, and wrestling was her game. In a “Meet Your Neighbor” column, readers were introduced to “the undisputed World’s Champion Girl Wrestler.”

Byers’ story is one of the more fascinating of the 20th Century, and not just within the confines of Lafayette Park. She was introduced to the sport as a child by her uncle “Shorty,” a former middleweight wrestler, and went on to win championships including the Women’s World Championship on August 20, 1954.

She was also credited with elevating the sport from circus-style spectacle to worthy competition as she toured the nation match-by-match.

The newsletter notes the physical injuries she endured in her career:

  • Nine broken ribs
  • Two broken collarbones
  • Left arm broken in two places
  • Every bone in her hands broken
  • Pelvic bone fractured in five places
  • Both knees torn out
  • Hit on the head with a soda-pop bottle

    For more on June Byers’ life and career, check out The Professional Wrestlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum.

Today’s newsletter page is courtesy of Betty Brown and the publication, “Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies,” 2012. If you would like to share ephemera from Lafayette Park, send us a copy at miesmembership@iit.edu.

› Read more