Lafayette Towers residents and professionals who've worked on design plans for the buildings tipped Curbed to some unwelcome new additions to the Mies van der Rohe-designed apartment complex. While Mies defined midcentury minimalism and was known by his "less is more" design philosophy, current Lafayette Towers owner Gregory Jackson seems to think that more is more, and the "more" in question comes in the form of stickers and decals recently plastered all over the landmark building.
Residents say that the stickers came as part of aesthetic changes that began with the removal of stone benches original to the property, and continued with 3M stickers that now cover all of the building's ground level windows. These stickers depict athletic scenes. The buildings' elevators now sport silver wall decals "inside and out," per one of our tipsters, who calls these additions an affront to minimalism, likening them to a "bumper sticker on a Cadillac, or a tramp stamp."
The redesign of the laundry room seems especially fraught. The blue decals, garish in and of themselves, contain copy that inspires uncomfortable memories of the Clinton administration. "Every Stain Has a Story," declares a massive decal on one wall. According to our sources, what makes these additions troubling is that Jackson and company hired some of Detroit's top architects to advise them on updating the 1963 towers, but completely disregarded their advice, opting instead for decals…and more decals.
While our tipster says that the structural updates to the building's pool and plumbing were handled very well—"done in a surprisingly thoughtful manner," was how they put it—the towers remain a troubled property, whose residents couldn't be bribed into positive Yelp reviews after enduring roaches, mismanaged security and "fixes" to bathtubs that didn't take. Residents complain that management that is callous to their concerns, including broken vent controls and thermostat knobs and heat that failed altogether on a few cold winter days. Despite the building's infamous review incentive, Lafayette Towers still only gets one star on Yelp, and just 49% of the hundred or so residents who reviewed the place on Apartment Reviews would recommend it to prospective tenants.
·Is Automotive Mogul Gregory Jackson The New Owner Of The Lafayette Towers? [Curbed Detroit]
·Lafayette Towers Will Bribe Residents For Better Yelp Reviews [Curbed Detroit]
·Residents of Detroit's Lafayette Towers living without heat [WXYZ Detroit]
·Lafayette Towers [Yelp]
·Lafayette Towers [Apartment Ratings]