The New York Times interviews residents of Lafayette Park, a neighborhood near downtown Detroit where architect Mies van der Rohe built modest, modernist homes in the late '50s/early '60s. They still stand today, housing one of the city's most racially integrated communities. So what's it like living in a structure built by one of architecture's greats? One person speaks of the comfort that goes along with uniform design. When playing at friends' places, kids "can just walk in and know where the bathroom is and they know their way around." Says another: "The layout of the place enables us to be in more contact with our neighbors because there's windows on either side," mentioning that if one neighbor sees another gardening, he/she will often come outside to say hello. While the designs of the homes are clean-lined and spare, "everything works in it," says one resident. "To me, it's not upsetting to see somebody do something antique-like in furnishings." Another agrees that any decor scheme, large or small, works: "Even if you have nothing in your house," she says, "it's gorgeous here."
· Living With Mies [NYT]