Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Lafayette Park: The Settlement Shape


June 7–July 29, 2012
9am-5pm, Monday-Friday


S.R. Crown Hall
3360 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60616

Organizer: The Mies van der Rohe Society



Detroit’s Lafayette Park was the first urban renewal project in the United States and remains a model of efficient, community-minded living. It was designed for car owners, but parking spaces are discreet. It was built across the street from an elementary school, but children don’t need to cross the street to get there.

Mies’ inventive living space was the product of a collaboration with Alfred Caldwell, landscape designer and longtime Mies collaborator, and Ludwig Hilberseimer, who handled the urban design. The result is a space-effective and cost-effective dwelling designed to keep the middle class in the city in the 1960s. People live in Lafayette Park today to enjoy its elegant views, layouts, and amenities.

Examine this breakthrough habitat through an exhibition of the designs, models, and documents from Lafayette Park’s production. This exhibition is courtesy of Dipartimento di Progettazione dell’Architettura Politecnico di Milano.

Opening Party
Thursday, June 7, 5:30-7:30pm

A Bustle in the Hedgerow—Urban Living in the Prairie Landscape
Thursday, June 7, 6pm

By Noah Resnick (ARCH '00), associate professor of architecture at University of Detroit Mercy and resident of Lafayette Park

Figure and Pattern—Mies, Hilberseimer and Caldwell at Lafayette Park
Saturday, June 16, 3:30-5pm

By Kevin Harrington, IIT professor emeritus who has written and lectured widely on Mies and his colleagues. In addition, members of the team at Politecnico de Milano, who organized the exhibition, will be featured. Francesca Scotti, Adaberto Del Bo, and Francesco Bruno all teach at the Bovisa campus of the Politecnico. The show’s catalog, printed in English and Italian, will be available at this event.