• Travel

    Reinvigorated essence

    Text: R. Collins For many northern Michigan businesses and organizations, the serenity of the area’s natural environment—composed by sandy bluffs, fresh water, dense deciduous forests, and awe-inspiring seasonal changes—often inspires the design of retail and gathering spaces. When it came time for Spa Grand Traverse, a full-service spa within the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan, to receive an upgrade to its interior design, aesthetics inspired by northern Michigan’s natural assets were incorporated during the remodel to not only encourage relaxation, but also a sense of separation from a guest’s external stressors upon reopening. “[We were] looking to find that same balance that is found in nature and wanting to…

  • Travel

    Motion in choreograph

    “We are an idea-based firm. We can pivot off of any design problem and I think program is really just a vehicle to test ideas,” said Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, principal and creative director at DMAC Architecture P.C. in Evanston, Illinois. “Whether it is a hospital or a restaurant, I think you need to understand how it functions and it works, but it is still a vehicle to test some ideas and what is a food design for that particular problem or space.” When the Midtown Athletic Club and the Hotel at Midtown opened in 2017 at the intersection of Elston, Damen, and Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, it reflected a…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Travel

    Art on theMART

    By: R. Collins On September 29, 2018, theMART, formerly known as The Merchandise Mart, will host a series of curated digital artworks projected across nearly 2.5 acres of its exterior riverside façade after dusk around 7:15 p.m., launching an inaugural program known as Art on theMART.  The inaugural exhibition will showcase the works of renowned artists Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, Jason Salavon, and Jan Tichy; exploring genres and subject matter while using the digital model as a springboard for visual arts in the 21st Century. The artists were selected and commissioned by Art on theMART in consultation with a curatorial advisory board shaped by theMART and the City’s Department of…

  • Design,  Travel

    Traverse City’s East end

    Text: R.Collins  During the last several years, downtown Traverse City has developed as both a local and tourist destination filled with an eclectic assortment of eateries, venues, shops, and bars, leaving areas like the city’s eastern side less noticed. More recently, the East side has grown into having a similar reputation for locally-renowned venues and businesses that showcase the best of northern Michigan. In effect, every new addition has expanded the city’s downtown landscape to include what was once outskirts; making more pieces of Front Street and its frontage on the East arm of the Grand Traverse Bay economically and culturally integrated.  For more than 25 years, Prout Financial Design…

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    Detroit foundation

    Newly transformed into a 100-room boutique hotel, the site of the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters and adjacent Pontchartrain Wine Cellars expresses an authenticity to its landmarked designation by embracing and celebrating Detroit’s design, art, architecture, and industrial communities.  “One of the interesting things about the hotel to me, is it is just full of richness and it is not designed with a capital ‘d’. It’s really authentic to Detroit, to the building, to the local artists reacting to the building, to the local makers, to the stuff that is in the rooms, and to the furniture and lighting,” said Michael Poris, AIA, president and principal at McIntosh Poris Associates…

  • Print Edition,  Travel

    Among the stars

    When the Capitol Theatre Building was completed in 1928, it not only epitomized the atmospheric style that would come to define John Eberson’s architectural career, but also was the largest theater in Flint, Michigan and among the Butterfield Theatre chain’s most lavish. While the theater shuttered its doors in 1996 and sat dormant for nearly two decades, a multidisciplinary group of organizations, architects, designers, and stakeholders have once again restored the cultural and artistic venue to its original luster. “There are some modern theater facilities in Flint, but this was an excellent opportunity to have more availability of these resources to the community,” said Matthew Jennings, AIA, historic preservation leader…

  • Travel

    Boutique beacon

    By R.J. Weick In 1893, Chicago dazzled the world with its display of architecture, industry, and innovation. It was the year in which the White City received its moniker as neoclassical-inspired buildings were meticulously constructed and designed for the World’s Columbian Exposition—or more fondly known as the Chicago World’s Fair. As a palatial exhibition began to take shape south of downtown Chicago at the hands of talented architects and artisans, the foundation of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel was laid by well-known architect Henry Ives Cobb. While the stunning Venetian Gothic building was initially constructed as a private athletic club, more than 120 years later it continues to stand the…

  • Print Edition,  Travel

    Element of beauty

    It was only a few short years ago when the sights and sounds of bustling twentieth century summer life in Walloon Lake Village had faded to a distant memory. Time and consecutive years of declining tourism had all but muffled the vibrant melody of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad transporting eager guests from the sweltering heat to a northern destination escape that had once been the playground of literary icon Ernest Hemingway. Original text by: R.J. Weick Photos courtesy Walloon Hotel Read more in the print edition

  • Travel

    Guarding an icon

    Text: R. Collins When vacationing on the sunny shores of Lake Michigan, visitors can sometimes forget how essential historic buildings are to the makeup of northern Michigan, such as the Point Betsie Lighthouse. Resting on a dune-laden stretch of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, the classic figurehead is located just south of the Manitou Passage. To those wearily navigating the waters of Lake Michigan after dark in the early 1900s, Point Betsie was often a symbol of relief and the conclusion of a difficult journey. Now it is a symbol of historic preservation and timelessness. To those who have made restoring Point Betsie their passion, a respect for its previous crews and…