Detroit architect honored in new book

By STEVEN MAIER

Capital News Service

LANSING — Admirers of architect Wirt Rowland finally have the biography they were looking for. It was a long time coming.

Rowland was arguably the premier skyscraper architect of the early 20th century. He designed prominent buildings around the country for years. Yet his name is hardly known outside of architectural circles, and no one had bothered to write a book about the man.

That’s what struck Michael G. Smith of Bloomfield Hills and led him to write the just-released, “Designing Detroit: Wirt Rowland and the Rise of Modern American Architecture” (Wayne State University Press, $44.99).

The tome is comprehensive and meticulously detailed as Smith explores the rise of Rowland through the ranks of the architectural world and his work in Detroit. Despite his lack of training, Rowland earned a position in the city as an apprentice draftsman in 1901. Four years later, he was the lead designer for the two largest construction projects in Michigan. He went on to work for some of the most prominent architectural firms in the city, designing five of Detroit’s 16 prominent skyscrapers Continue reading

Authors “Canvas Detroit” for art’s impact on the urban environment

By BECKY McKENDRY

Capital News Service

A street mural from Hygienic Dress League. Photo: Flickr/CC

A street mural from Hygienic Dress League. Photo: Flickr/CC

LANSING — In “Canvas Detroit,” a new book from Wayne State University Press, Nichole Christian and Julie Pincus profile the Motor City’s brightest and most diverse up-and-coming street artists.

From murals on boulevards to grass sculptures, their work can actively improve the urban environment and shine a light on previously ignored and abandoned cityscapes, the authors say.

Detroit is a city that needs “problem solving,” Christian says, and art won’t solve it all. But the city is fostering a wickedly creative atmosphere that is ripe for revitalization.

In a recent interview, Christian explained the importance of street art and how it can revitalize a city.

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Photos by drone fill business, artistic needs

By ERIK STIEM

Capital News Service

LANSING — The jury is still out on regulations for unmanned aircraft, but that’s not stopping a Michigan business from using them commercially.

Hovershots Aerial Photography and Video APV uses remote controlled helicopters – popularly known as drones – to capture video footage that is otherwise inaccessible or extremely expensive.

The Hovershots team flies one of their unmanned vehicles. (Photo: Hovershots APV)

The Hovershots team flies one of their unmanned vehicles. (Photo: Hovershots APV)

The company’s recent picture of a record-breaking flotilla of kayaks on Suttons Bay in northern Lake Michigan made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Hovershots owner Kevin Haley, 50, from Linden near Flint, has more than 25 years experience with remote controlled systems. But in the past he has only had access to shoddy cameras to attach to them.

So when Haley, a health and nutrition storeowner, began researching drones and state-of-the-art cameras, he saw an incredible business opportunity, Haley said.

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