|© Sally Bjork|
by Sally Bjork
“About the only distinctive feature of the Federal Building on East Liberty is the projected geometry of the brick elevation on Fourth Ave.,” writes Alice Ralph, identifying June’s I Spy subject. “The USPS has a station in the building where ‘they deliver’ a full range of services.”
Built in 1975, the Federal Building has been dubbed the “ugliest building in Ann Arbor” by one flickr.com poster—a judgment not softened by memories of the 1925 Art Deco Masonic Temple, which was razed to make room for its parking lot. But architectural interest turns to activity where the character of the city remains strongest—in its individuals, thousands of whom have demonstrated in the plaza out front over the years. Though Michigan Peaceworks moved its annual anti-war rally to campus this year to avoid the city’s street-closing costs, April’s Hash Bash started at the building’s steps. In any case, having just been awarded a $2.4 million grant for greening, the building will likely be around for awhile.
Rachel Francisco won our random drawing among five correct entries. She’ll receive a copy of Jonathan Marwil’s History of Ann Arbor.
[Originally published in July, 2009.]
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