Building Preservation Vision Sought in Lakewood
Given the public uproar over the proposed demolition of the now defunct Detroit Theatre, city officials want to hear from the community to decide which buildings should be preserved in Lakewood — and why.
In the wake of the Detroit Theatre outcry, Lakewood officials are organizing a community work session to begin developing a collective vision as it pertains to the preservation of buildings in the city.
The meeting – to be hosted by Mayor Mike Summers and Lakewood Planning Commission director Dru Siley – will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 17 in the Lakewood Public Library, and more than 100 hundred people are expected to attend.
At the meeting, the public will break up into several small groups to fill out surveys and look at photos of 47 structures in Lakewood that hold either historic or nostalgic relevance, he said.
Out of those 47, each group will have to pick 10 that they would save and offer rationales as to why they’d save them.
Members of the Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board will act as proctors and will provide information as needed to the groups.
“I think there are many definitions of (what preservation in Lakewood means),” Siley said. “There are many folks working on different things, but we’re all not all going in the same direction, necessarily, and I think we find ourselves often being reactive and sometimes inactive when preservation related issues are coming up.
"The whole point of it is to get people talking, to get people discussing: what are you thinking about when you look at preservation? What is important to you when you’re evaluating these buildings? What are the emotional components, what are the architectural components?”
Members from the Architectural Board of Review, Planning Commission, the Lakewood Historical Society, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and others will attend as well to listen and join in on the discourse.
Following the work session, city officials will distill the surveys, comments and information collected from the public and various board members into workable data that will go to develop the preservation vision.
Siley said the issue will then undergo further discussion later next month.