Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation

“Architecture, more than any other art, images the character of a people. It is the mirror of the national consciousness and reveals the social tone of the Nation.”

— Albert Kahn

Honor | Preserve | Educate

The Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation honors the life, innovations, and global impact of architect Albert Kahn.

From 1929 to 1932 Albert Kahn, Inc. oversaw the design and construction of over 500 factories in Soviet Russia. Many of these plants were converted to munitions production during World War II. The Chrysler Tank Arsenal and Willow Run Bomber Plant notwithstanding, without Kahn’s unintended contributions to the Russian war effort, there is arguably no decisive Allied victory over the Third Reich, and no complete liberation of Europe, making these adaptive renovations among the most influential to ever be applied to Albert Kahn, Inc. designs. I considered the gravity of Kahn’s bearing on world history and asked myself, “What unique and significant adaptive renovations and reuses of Kahn designs might we find here in the Motor City if we went looking? Exactly how far might Kahn’s influence posthumously and unintentionally extend into Detroit’s future? Which reuses might exhibit the greatest degrees of versatility and unintended consequences?” My investigations pleased and intrigued me, as I hope they will you. Join me on the evening of Wednesday, January 26th for a countdown/reveal style presentation, with accompanying Keynote lecture and fine art photography, showcasing what I believe Kahn himself would consider the most wildly unpredictable renovations and reuses of his buildings in Metropolitan Detroit. Bring your own stories of imaginative repurposing to share during a post-lecture Q&A with discussion. I look forward to seeing you there.