Then my husband and I decided to move to Detroit. And thus began my year-long panic attack. Where were all the people? Where was the density, the sense of connection with strangers? Where were the animated stories I’d imagine as told through the voiceless pantomimes of my unaware neighbors?
But we were committed, so we began to scout the successful Detroit neighborhoods: Rosedale Park, Green Acres, Indian Village, University District, East English Village, Brush Park and, finally, Lafayette Park, the 1960s development created by master planner Ludwig Hilberseimer, landscape architect Alfred Caldwell and architect Mies van der Rohe. Both my husband and I had completed our undergraduate studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology School of Architecture when Caldwell was still a professor there. We basically lived in Mies’s Crown Hall, and we were accustomed to the idiosyncrasies involved in inhabiting his concept of universal space. We knew Lafayette Park was the place for us. We purchased a two-story townhouse.