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Peek Inside A Just-Renovated Mies Van Der Rohe Co-op

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[Photo by Michelle and Chris Gerard]

Here we have one of the 186 townhouse units in Lafayette Park that famous architect Mies Van Der Rohe designed. Completed in the early 1960's, the units don't just draw fans of mid-century modern design and minimalism (though that is what they are best known for), and have now become imprinted with many different personal styles over the years. The couple that just completed renovating this unit took us through to see the "before" last August, after closing on the home for $150,000. Their home is one of the 24 single-story "court yard units" that comes with a private back yard.

The biggest and most dramatic change overall was to the flooring. What was once inoleum and parquet tile is now concrete. Turns out all the Mies places have concrete pads hiding under the original flooring. In this case, they had to scrape off four layers accumulated over 50+ years to get down to the concrete. It was then cleaned and polished for a week to remove the linoleum and carpet nail holes. The final look gave them a natural 'distressed look' thanks to all the wear, which the owners are fond of.

For the project, they selected Jim Downing as the contractor for his ability to "toe the line" on maintaining the integrity of the mid-century modernism style of the original design. Other major changes involved a dramatic overhaul of the basement, which will contain a guest room in the future (it already came with a bathroom a previous owner installed that includes a shower), and kitchen re-do.

· Courtyard Coop Designed By Mies Van Der Rohe Fetches $150 K [Curbed Detroit]