April 7, 2010

Rehabbing My New Mies Home

When I bought my townhouse in Lafayette Park a few months ago I was told by a few of the older ladies on the co-op board that I had gotten the deal of the century. I figured that was what they said to everybody. Don't get me wrong, I was pumped about getting an actual Mies Van der Rohe-designed condo for under $100k. Especially one of the single-story ones with it's own private courtyard. But when I heard the same opinion echoed by a kind woman who's lived in the neighborhood since it opened in 1959, I started to think maybe it was true after all.

I had my work cut out for me though. The place desperately needed a new floor, it had some glaringly bad suburban cabinets, and there was some pretty liberal use of wood paneling on the walls.

The place is nowhere nearly finished. It's pretty empty, but at least I'm done with construction. I need to come into a big chunk of money before I can afford furniture for this place, but I can be patient. Check out some pics from the progress...

Shiny new OSB floor, gray walls, freshly painted ceiling

Kitchen with a face lift: I re-clad the existing cabinets, kept the counter tops and removed some extra cabinets. The kitchen was crowded with cabinets when I bought it.

One of the under-cabinet 'puck' lights

Stripping paint off the original outlet covers

Good as new!

Valve where ground water heat pump enters the water heater. Still can't believe these Detroiters were hip enough to install geothermal heating for these condos ten years ago. Score!

Kitchen when I first bought it. Notice engineered wood flooring (glued to the concrete slab), horrible pink-tinted wood veneer cabinets, wallpaper I won't even get into

Demolition of floor. Damn all that glue!

Pulling up crappy engineered floorboards, measuring for finished floor, removing wood paneling

Who puts wood paneling on a Mies?!

Now every night I get to put more of my stuff away. A.D.D. heaven... And don't miss that wall of technicolor cabinets in the background, a definite keeper


alysonsee on April 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM said...

Wow, great work and great find. I had no idea some of these units had a private courtyard. When I've imagine moving back to Detroit, I, of course, imagined living in one of the Mies. But I've got small dogs and cannot visualize braving the Michigan winter weather to put them on a leash every time they feel nature call.

I don't know if small dogs urinating in a Mies courtyard would be considered sacrilege. I've heard some of the home owners' meetings can get pretty heated about the proper use and look of the place.

I hope you update your blog with more pics of your progress. Love to see these great treasures restored.

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