If I could. An open letter to Minoru Yamasaki

Dear Mr. Yamasaki,

because I love your work that much, I emptied trash cans in your studio,

while the woman that got me the job cleaning offices for her father, fucked my new ex-girlfriend, in the men’s toilet of your Troy office.

Had I known what people have allowed to happen to your expressions, your studies, drawings, plans…

…Your buildings!

 

 

My goodness, your buildings.

I would have stolen every scrap of paper that I could’ve found with your mark on it.

Minoru Yamasaki (December 1, 1912 – February 6, 1986[1][2]) was an American architect, best known for designing the original World Trade Center in New York City and several other large-scale projects.[3]

Yamasaki was one of the most prominent architects of the 20th century.

He and fellow architect Edward Durell Stone are generally considered to be the two master practitioners of “New Formalism“.[4]

One of the first projects he designed at his own firm was Ruhl’s Bakery at 7 Mile Road and Monica Street in Detroit.

The reason I have no emotional attachment to this whole Save Detroit’s Historical Architecture Movement Bullshit.

Before I was blessed to spend the bulk of 3 years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rulh’s Bakery was one of my favorite places to visit with my grandmother, when she would take me to care for her Jews. There was something futuristic about it that kind of encouraged me. It bore very little resemblance to the Detroit I knew. No scars or blisters from the fires of the war zone I lived in.

I returned home to a Detroit that was burning in ways I could not imagine. I returned to a fire that only subsides, like fear in Detroit. I’m cool with that. I can warm my hands on it.

I’ve spent the bulk of my life walking in and around Mr. Yamasaki’s buildings all over Greater Detroit. I damn near lived on WSU and CCS campuses. But I’d forgotten about the little bakery where I first encounter the art of my favorite architect.

I was a parent and well into my second quarter, when I finally recognized the building where I spent a few good moments, picking great bread and sweets with my grandmother, in my own little tomorrow land, I would’ve wept, but I don’t even believe The Buddha, Jesus or Muhammad would’ve offered me comfort. I can imagine them saying, “Yeah Dude. It was a place. Bet the snacks were tasty too. Yeah! Get over it. You cheered when they, whoever they are, collapsed the twin towers.” I knew the chick I was sleeping with wouldn’t understand.

Corner of Seven Mile and Monica. Google Maps

Presentation is often important to one’s sense of communal esteem.

Very few of these places that conservative preservationists strive to save still serve their original intent or the types of lives they were built for. Most are decaying and toxic, simply because they were built at the height of the industrial age and the entire ego system here has changed in the last century. Most would be too costly to restore. They don’t create work that’s gratifying, they don’t generate a sense of optimism for anything other than the continued and hopefully most explosive erosion. They may be reflections, but they are most certainly not an expressions of the great majority of the people that presently occupy them or the communities that surround them.

 

No doubt! I have deep emotional attachments to people who are emotionally attached to architects and architectural interior designers, even period styles…

…And then their buildings and landscapes.

…And Oh! And especially Mid Century Modern furniture.

Fuck yeah! We have something in common.

A passionate adoration for the minds that expressed and inspired some pretty iconic shit.

The junk rattling around in those sister’s heads is far sexier than any shit any chick can put on or take off.

Hammercy & when they blow off the dust and cobwebs and dig into the crates.

Hush Your Mouth!

If I could, I’d restore this building to it’s original purpose, a place where food that was lovingly prepared and presented in a loving and supportive community.

 

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