Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

-MI-Muskegon Area

St. Francis de Sales Muskegon – Interior (1964)

Marcel Breuer – Architect

2929 McKracken Street, Norton Shores, MI

Aerial view and Directions

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Visited July 6, 2012

Click here for the blog post of the exterior of this church

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St. Francis de Sales Muskegon – Exterior (1964)

Marcel Breuer – Architect

2929 McKracken Street, Norton Shores, MI

Aerial view and Directions

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Visited July 6, 2012

This Marcel Breuer brutalist concrete edifice is a surprise find on a Muskegon Street. I was not actually surprised, as I traveled to Muskegon just to see this building. What is surprising is that this famous Jewish architect from Germany’s Bauhaus (who also designed the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York) designed this Catholic Church in Muskegon – and this building is relatively unknown.

I have posted some exterior photographs today, and will update this post with additional information and photos in a day or two. I also made arrangements to photograph the interior, and will post those photos separately.

Check back soon for more.

Click here for photos of the Interior


Hackley and Hume Historic Site (1889)

The Charles A. Hackley House and Thomas Hume House

David S. Hopkins Designer

484 West Webster Avenue, Muskegon, MI 49440

Aerial View and Directions

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Photographs taken July 6, 2012

I had first visited the Hackley & Hume houses many years ago, prior to the exterior restoration. They have come a long way. The polychrome paint scheme in dark earthy tones stops traffic…well maybe an exaggeration, but certainly will get the attention of architects and historians.

The very creative decorative trim elements of all different shapes are sizes are fascinating. They cover every surface available, with the paint scheme accentuating them.

Although my personal taste in buildings tends to have fewer goo gahs, festoons and zigzags, this complex of buildings is well worth a stop. Spend some time looking at each surface and you will start to understand how complex the decorative treatment is in these grand Queen Anne houses.

The interiors are also open for tours, but this trip I did not take the tour. Just looking at all of the elaborate stained glass windows, the experience promises be incredible.

Interesting thing to notice is the fireplace in the Hackley House. It is an engineering feat as there is a stained glass window above the firebox and mantle. Typically ( especially back then) the fireplace damper and flue are directly above the firebox and go straight up through the chimney. In order to have the window above the fireplace, the flue had to be diverted around the window. Quite novel back then ( and even now for a masonry fireplace).

The Hackley and Hume website