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Thursday, October 8, 2015

“Images of America: Art Deco in Detroit”, by Rebecca Binno Savage and Greg Kowalski

128 pages, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-0738532288

Of the many cities embellished architecturally during the period between the World Wars of the 20th Century, Detroit surely had an athletic spurt of growth, with many examples of the architecture now known as Art Deco decorating its downtown landscape. Now, the Arcadia series Images of America has put together a volume of views of these many fine buildings into one book at a reasonable price; in fact, this is the only volume specifically concerning Detroit Deco that I’m aware of. As such, it’s a valuable addition to the collection of anyone interested in American architecture, specifically the Art Deco period, appreciation of which has risen considerably, even during the past couple of decades. Here are many views of Detroit buildings (some of which no longer exist) making the Arcadia contribution even more valuable for showing us a world of urban life no longer visible. Art Deco came and went between two violent world upheavals, then was washed under the sea of Modernism in post-war perceptions, when decoration of any kind was abandoned altogether. A valuable, if sad, addition to our appreciation of a now-fallen city.

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