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Albert Kahn: Unintended Consequences

A Virtual Talk with Dale Carlson
January 26, 2022 , 7:00 pm
Albert Kahn:  Unintended Consequences

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. Carlson considered the gravity of Kahn’s bearing on world history and asked, “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?” Dale’s investigations intrigued us, as we hope they will you. Join Dale on the evening of Wednesday, January 26th at 7pm for a countdown/reveal style presentation, with accompanying Keynote lecture and fine art photography, showcasing what Dale believes 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. We look forward to seeing you there.


About Dale Carlson: Author, photographer and architectural historian, Dale A. Carlson was born and raised along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan where, as an adolescent, he developed a fascination with the city of Detroit. Throughout the 1990s Mr. Carlson studied art, journalism and graphic design at four Michigan colleges including Michigan State University, while simultaneously migrating closer and closer to the Detroit Metro Area. In 2004 he made southeast Oakland County his permanent home, and in 2019 he earned an associate degree in photographic technology from Oakland Community College. He serves on the City of Berkley’s Historical Committee and is the author of Corrado Parducci: A Field Guide to Detroit’s Architectural Sculptor. His latest project, Kahn’s Detroit: A Field Guide to Albert Kahn Designs of the Metro Area, showcases 300 extant Kahn designs in southeast Michigan and will be published in late 2021. Mr. Carlson will also publish a field guide to stained glass of the New Orleans metropolis late in the year and he calls the city his second home. He credits his late wife, Carolin Venegas Jones, whom he married in 2014, for inspiring his ventures into publishing and photography.

This event is free