A groovy bowling alley, a mod Frank Lloyd Wright interior, and a few of Michigan’s radical ’70s buildings

Virtual Event

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Join the Michigan Chapter of Docomomo US and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research as they partner with Docomomo US for Tour Day 2020. This year's national theme, which will be explored throughout the month of October by chapters across the nation, is the '70s Turn 50. 

The 1970s were a time of great change in American culture and society, and a decade of an even greater variety of forms, technical advances, and ideas of architectural thinking. Here in Michigan, the 1970s witnessed the rise of John Portman’s Renaissance Center (1973–1977) in downtown Detroit, the opening of Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo’s concrete and glass Power Center for the Performing Arts (1971) on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and the building of Richard Meier’s Douglas House (1971–1973) in Harbor Springs on the shore of Lake Michigan. On a more intimate scale, the 1970s also saw the final evolution of the interiors of the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House—a Usonian house that was designed in the 1940s, completed in 1950, and expanded by William Wesley Peters and Taliesin Associated Architects in 1969.

The Michigan celebration of Tour Day 2020 will start at Bowlero Lanes & Lounge in Royal Oak, which has been authentically renovated by the current owners, Kelly and Dean Elliott, to capture the look and feel of the 1970s, when the lounge was added to the building. With bowlers in period outfits throwing a few strikes and spares in the background, the Elliotts and their bartender will take us on a tour of Bowlero Lanes & Lounge and show us how to mix one of their signature cocktails. Don’t worry, registered participants will receive a list of the ingredients in advance of the program!

Our Zoom screens will then move to Bloomfield Hills and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House. After a brief examination of some of Michigan’s architectural icons from the 1970s, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research curator Kevin Adkisson (who is proud to proclaim his passion for the ‘70s) will provide a behind-the-scenes tour of the interiors of the Smith House—focusing on the mod sunroom replete with its original Naugahyde-upholstered sectional seating, handwoven shag rug, hand-thrown pottery, and Paul Evans-designed “forged sculpture front” console.  A view from the expansive windows will also reveal details of the recently restored Thomas Dolliver Church-designed landscape.

The program will return to Bowlero Lanes & Lounge for audience questions, and a chance to share some of your own thoughts about this overlooked decade in the history of American architecture and interior design.


Sunday October 18th, 2020, 3:45 pm Eastern (2:45 pm Central)
$25 per viewer
Lecture will be password-protected, advance registration required

Registration Closes at 2:00pm on Sunday, October 18

Program Schedule (Eastern Time)

3:45 – 4:00pm: Virtual Zoom Room Open (Turn on your video, unmute yourself, and say hello!)

4:00 – 4:15pm: Welcome from the Board Members of the Michigan Chapter of Docomomo US, Groovy Bowlero Lanes & Lounge Tour, and Signature Cocktail Mixing and Sipping Instructions

4:15 – 5:00pm: Reflections on a Few ‘70s Architectural Icons in Michigan and Virtual Tour of the Mod ‘70s-era Interiors of the Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House

5:00 – 5:15pm:  Q&A and Conversation among Viewers

Hosted by 

Ruth Mills, Chapter President, and the Board Members of Docomomo US/Michigan
Gregory Wittkopp, Director, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, and Docomomo US/Michigan Board Member
Kelly and Dean Elliott, Owners, Bowlero Lanes & Lounge, Royal Oak, Michigan

Architectural Historian and Tour Leader

Kevin Adkisson, Associate Curator, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research

Virtual Lecture Logistics

Prior to the program date, registered participants will receive an email with instructions on how to join this virtual experience. As this program benefits the operations of both Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and Docomomo US/Michigan, both not-for-profit organizations, we ask that you do not share the login link with others. Registrations are non-refundable. The program will begin promptly at 4:00 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). 

For additional information in advance of the program, please email center@cranbrook.edu or call the Center at 248.645.3307 and leave a message. The Center’s Administrative Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Presented by Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Docomomo US/Michigan, and Bowlero Lanes & Lounge


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