Letters to the Editor

Owning up
Michael Jackman did an incredible job chronicling the history of the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Palmer Woods (“Wright or Wrong?Metro Times, June 28), even digging up an architectural student who lived there in the 1980s. But he messed up on describing the new owners. While Norm Silk and Dale Morgan have the Blossoms business in Birmingham, they live in Palmer Woods in a fabulously restored house with remodeled kitchen and conservatory.
Silk and Morgan do so much to make Palmer Woods and the whole Palmer district a gracious place to live. If anyone has any chance of restoring it, they would do so. Hopefully they start by whacking all the weeds that impede bicycle riding on the surrounding sidewalk. —Maureen McDonald, Detroit

Wrong indeed
I was excited to see Michael Jackman’s cover story on the Turkel House, only to cringe at some serious factual errors within it. First, the house is in Palmer Woods, not Palmer Park (which is southeast of, and rather different from, Palmer Woods). Second, Norm Silk and Dale Morgan are by no means “suburbanites” — they have resided in Detroit for decades, most recently in Palmer Woods (not Park), and have long been advocates for their chosen City. —John Corvino, Detroit

Home schooled
The caption on the cover of your June 28 edition reads, “Frank Lloyd Wrong?” but it ought to read, “Metro Times Wrong,” because that is exactly what the story by Michael Jackman is. The premise of the story is that two suburbanites are coming into Detroit to rescue an “architectural curiosity” in a neighborhood erroneously identified as Palmer Park after Detroiters allowed the structure to fall into near-hopeless disrepair.

In fact, two Detroiters who have lived for decades in a stunning home in the very same neighborhood have decided to move a few blocks into one of our nation’s architectural treasures. Undoubtedly, they will exhibit the same intelligence and care in their renovation of the Frank Lloyd Wright house as they exhibited in the house they are about to sell.
Why is your newspaper so unrelentingly negative about our city? Accurately told, this story could not be more positive. But why bother to be positive when it is so much easier to bash Detroit and its many wonderful neighborhoods? Mr. Jackman should come back and look more closely at this corner of northwest Detroit. He will find a very different story than the one he so carelessly manufactured. —Gail Rodwan, Detroit

Wright honorable
I read with great interest Michael Jackman’s article on the Dorothy Turkel house. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has been working behind the scenes on this house for some time. The conservancy worked closely with the real estate agent to market the house, as well as to offer technical guidance to prospective buyers through the counsel of architect Lawrence Brink, a Conservancy Board member. We look forward to working with the new owners.
When designing a building, Frank Lloyd Wright designed the whole environment. Although some may consider this stifling behavior, others understand that he was creating not only a house, but a unique living experience in a beautiful work of art.
For those interested in learning more about Frank Lloyd Wright and his built (and unbuilt) works in southeast Michigan, the Conservancy will be hosting its 2006 conference at the Westin Southfield Detroit Hotel, Sept. 13-17. Educational sessions, architectural tours and special evening events will be offered. For more information please visit the Conservancy’s Web site at savewright.org. —Audra Dye, Program Director, Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, Chicago, Ill.

Judge not
In a quick response to Brenda Sanders comments regarding Judge Rudy Serra (“Gay Serra, Serra,” News Hits, Metro Times, June 28), she noted that she had personal issues with his sexuality: that “he promotes sexuality from the bench.” I would really like her to explain how that is possible? None of the current laws really have any effect on GLBT community — at least in a positive sense. A slew of legislation is being pushed through to put gays back in the Stone Age. She states that she is a Christian. So are we to assume that she is going to be promoting Christianity from the bench? One wonders. Hey Brenda, how about — hopefully — we get someone on the bench, you, Rudy, whoever, who can just promote the law fairly? —Neil Moore, Detroit

A big empty movie
Michael Hastings’ review of Stanley Kubrick’s film, The Shining, mentions that some people believe the movie serves as an allegory for the post-traumatic stress suffered by Vietnam veterans. This is straw-grasping nonsense. I propose that the Overlook Hotel in the film serves as a symbol of the film itself: big and empty.
Stephen King, whose book the movie is based on, dismissed the film even before production was finished. He was correct in noting that Kubrick was often a fine director, but he had no idea how to make a “horror” film. The Shining contains all the artifice of a horror film: empty building, creepy twins, waves of blood and a psycho. The film fails the main objective of a horror film however: to make you afraid to sleep.

The first 45 minutes of the film are interminably dull. Viewers find Jack Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” line funnier than it actually is because they have sat through a good chunk of film they assumed was horror only to realize too late that it’s a comedy, and the laughs come too late. Nicholson’s role is one of his funniest wacko parts, and Shelley Duvall, as his slobbering, sobbing spouse is a scream. The real star of the film, however, is the hotel itself: a big dead thing.
The Shining would have been a good comedy, but it sorely tests the viewers’ patience before going that route. Kubrick’s artistic decline started with this snoozer. If you want to see a great horror film from around the same time, watch Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now instead. —James Dantzer, Detroit

Errata: In our cover story, “Wright or wrong?” (Metro Times, June 28), we incorrectly identified the location of the Dorothy Turkel house. It is in Detroit’s Palmer Woods neighborhood. Also, due to an editing error, we misidentified the house’s new owners as being residents of Detroit’s suburbs. They are longtime residents of Palmer Woods.

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Metro Times Staff

Since 1980, Metro Times has been Detroit’s premier alternative source for news, arts, culture, music, film, food, fashion and more from a liberal point of view.
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