Page C1.1 . 04 February 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
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    Revival by Townhouse

    by ArchitectureWeek

    One of the innovations Henry Ford is known for in automotive history, besides the Model T and the assembly line, is the concept that his employees should be able to afford the products they made. Reflecting this spirit, the Detroit, Michigan neighborhood he once lived in, near the now-abandoned Model T factory, is experiencing new life as an affordable housing development.

    The Genesis Villas, designed by McIntosh Poris Associates, provide much needed low- and moderate-income housing for the city. The project is attracting citywide and national support to save the neighborhood's historic factory buildings.

    Phase one of the development includes 89 units of two- and three-bedroom townhouses, most of which are reserved for low-income residents with rent subsidies. The remainder are available at market rates and are expected to encourage economic diversity.

    A marketing study had shown a five-year waiting list for Detroit families seeking good quality, safe, affordable housing. The design of the units directly responds to these needs.

    All units feature central air-conditioning, a master bedroom with adjacent master bath and walk-in closet, intrusion alarm, and attached garage. A strong street edge with front porches activate the street, providing both safety and community life for residents, many of whom are single-parent families.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Genesis Villas, a development in Detroit, Michigan, weaves affordable townhouses into a neighborhood of historic houses and factories.
    Photo: Balthazar Korab

    ArchWeek Image

    Wood and brick make the new buildings blend into their historic neighborhood.
    Photo: Balthazar Korab


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