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DIA demolishes Barat House for parking lot

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Photos by Mark Hall

A midcentury building across from the Detroit Institute of Arts met its end this weekend. The Barat House was completed in 1961 as a mental health treatment facility, designed by architect Robert Harter Snyder. The Detroit Urbanism blog details the history of the League of Catholic Women and the construction of this building.

Over the weekend, someone placed a sign on the fence surrounding the building, noting the architect and the building’s recent history with the DIA.

Photo by Mark Hall

After fences were placed around the building last week, the Metro Times confirmed on Friday that the building was set to be demoed. The process started this weekend. The DIA plans to add more parking to the block, which already houses a large parking lot and the Scarab Club. According to the Metro Times,

“The DIA spokeswoman says the parking lot would serve not just the art museum but also alleviate the need for parking for the Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum, Detroit Public Library, and the Detroit Historical Museum. The tentative plan is to use the space temporarily as a surface lot, as the underground garage on Farnsworth is currently out of use due to needed structural upgrades.”

Now we bid farewell to another old building in Detroit. While some may debate its beauty or worth, it’s always sad to see another building lost in the city—especially to a parking lot.

Photo by Mark Hall