Mies Towers For Sale... (Just Read The Fine Print First)

07/07/2012 10:51 am ET


Lafayette Park (1946) Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Photo via Flickr CC User MI SHPO.

No architectural gem is safe from Detroit’s foreclosure crisis – not even two of Mies Van der Rohe’s very own creations. The Lafayette Towers, two 22-story towers of 584 units, originally part of a major urban redevelopment project in the late 50s early 60s, are up for auction July 18th.

But be warned, there is a catch…

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who are running the auction, have some very detailed clauses for the Towers’ future owners. $10 million dollars worth of clauses, to be exact.

Within 18 months, the owners must complete a laundry list of reparations (including replacing bathtubs and installing peepholes). And to make sure you’re on-task, HUD will require you to send quarterly progress reports (with pictures of course) and put down $2.5 million dollars as a kind of deposit.

As ArtInfo puts it, “HUD’s comprehensive list of repairs is a fine print nightmare for developers but a blessing for Mies’s 1960s-era architecture.” Perhaps this foreclosure may just be a blessing in disguise.

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