MSU Art History professor Susan Bandes has written a book on notable Lansing-area architecture called “Mid-Michigan Modern From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie.” Current State’s Scott Pohl talks with Bandes about this period in Michigan design.

Orpheus Fountain photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

The mid-20th century was an incredibly transformative time in American society. A depression followed by a world war followed by a consumerism boom drove cultural changes that were reflected in art and architecture. Michigan was a hotspot for the modernist movement. Current State’s Kevin Lavery reports from Cranbrook, the famous educational enclave in suburban Detroit.

Haimerl house exterior photo before
Amy Haimerl

Amy Haimerl and her husband wanted to move from Brooklyn to Detroit, so they bought an old house at a rock-bottom price. The fixer-upper has become the subject of her book “Detroit Hustle”. Current State's Scott Pohl went to see the house for himself and talk with the author.

Flickr - Shinya Suzuki

It’s the peak of home buying and selling season, and we’ll look back on historic Michigan homes that were to take a leap foward. Current State takes us to Western Michigan’s Usonian community.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The history of 20th century design in Michigan isn’t just about automobiles. After World War II, Michigan was a hub for architects who broke away from the neo-classical shapes inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. The era of modern architecture lasted about 30 years and produced many structures still seen today.

Place-making with historic preservation

May 16, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Historic preservation stakeholders from across the state are convening in Jackson, Michigan this week for the annual Michigan Historic Preservation Network conference. The network works to recognize and conserve Michigan’s architectural culture.

The bells of St. Mary's ring out at centennial

Dec 6, 2013
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

This Sunday marks the second week of Advent, the start of the Christian church year and the prelude to Christmas.  It’s also the 100th anniversary of Lansing’s Roman Catholic cathedral, St. Mary’s.

Current State #162 | September 19, 2013

Sep 19, 2013

 Today on Current State: Update on fiscal conditions in Detroit and other U.S. cities; Lansing's historical Knapp's building renovation; MSU Theatre's production of "Widows"; Michigan native on her goal to make it to Mars; and Lansing Makers Network takes over city landmark. 

Lansing's Knapp's building part of cities resurgence

Sep 19, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

 The massive renovation of the former J.W. Knapp department store continues in downtown Lansing.  The historic 190,000 square foot building is being converted into a mix of retail and residential space.  Architects and developers are being careful to keep some of the original charm of the 75-year-old landmark, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Current State’s Kevin Lavery spoke with Robb McKay, a historical architect with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.  They walked through the old Knapp’s building, which is slated to re-open for business in February.

Current State #160 | September 17, 2013

Sep 17, 2013

Today on Current State: Architect-futurist anticipates global demoralization; Detroit's Water Renaissance series on the Rouge River; filmmaking staying relevant in Michigan despite changes; and MSU Museum photos capture modern workers in new exhibits.


Architect-futurist: Think locally, act locally

Sep 17, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

For more than 30-years, Andrés Duany has sought to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment, both in American cities and around the world.