May 15, 2018

Celebrate McGregor Center's 60th birthday party

MGregor Center, YamasakiJoin the Wayne State University Yamasaki Legacy Group on Friday, May 18, in celebration of the McGregor Memorial Conference Center's 60th birthday.

The McGregor Center opened on May 18, 1958, and is considered one of the most significant mid-century modern buildings in Southeast Michigan. Designed by renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki, it continues to serve Wayne State and the community.

The festivities begin with a special guest lecture at 4:30 p.m. in McGregor B/C followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the McGregor atrium that will include birthday cake and refreshments. The WSU Bookstore will be on hand with books that feature the work of Yamasaki and mid-century architecture. There will also be archival material on display from the Walter P. Reuther Library archives and WSU Facilities Planning & Management including original drawings, plans and other Yamasaki related materials.

The lecture, "McGregor Reflecting Pool and Sculpture Gardens: Restoring a Minoru Yamasaki Masterwork," will be presented by Richard B. Hess and will examine:

  • The challenge of preserving innovation and experience
  • Yamasaki's search for surprise, serenity and delight
  • Reconstruction of the reflecting pool
  • Restoration of the sculpture islands and the return of tranquility

The Yamasaki Lecture Series is supported by the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State.

Richard B. Hess is a Senior Associate with Quinn Evans Architects, responsible for managing QEA's Detroit office and Urban Revitalization work. With more than 20 years of combined experience in professional practice and teaching, Hess has been passionately involved in the preservation of historic architecture and the revitalization of urban communities. His recent work on the restoration of Yamasaki's reflecting pool and sculpture gardens at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center received the 2014 Michigan Governor's Award, National Trust Award for Historic Preservation, and the Docomomo U.S. Citation of Merit. Hess holds a bachelor of design degree from the University of Florida with a masters in architecture and graduate certificate in film studies from the University of Michigan.

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