“The ideas and planning of many people went into the realization of this building, but its final form as we see it today is the creation of the architect Marcel Breuer. He visualized the building not as a mere repository of books but as a social, cultural, and civic crystallization point. Literature and art were to be made more accessible in an inviting home-like atmosphere. …In addition to designing the building, Breuer also furnished it and laid out a plan for embellishing it with works of art.”
W. Hawkins Ferry, 1954

Breuer Preservation Fund

TRADITION OF SUPPORT

Grosse Pointe Public Library’s Central Branch was a gift to the Grosse Pointe community from Dexter M. Ferry and Murray Sales who knew well that libraries are the gems of our cultural heritage and the purveyors of our collective intellect. W. Hawkins Ferry said in 1954 at the grand opening of the Central branch that this building was designed “not as a mere repository of books but as a social, cultural, and civic crystallization point”. Grosse Pointe Public Library endeavors still, 66 years later, to ensure the truth of this statement and drew inspiration from it when Central Plaza was designed.

Please join the tradition of philanthropic support of this historic building and leave your mark at Central
Plaza. Give today to the Breuer Preservation Fund and help us to preserve, enhance and expand the midcentury modern architecture of Grosse Pointe Public Library’s Central Branch.

Community Giving Wall of Honor Plaques

$10,000 + Founder
$5,000-$9,999 Trustee
$2,500-$4,999 Director
$1,000-$2,499 Benefactor
(Giving level will be recognized on plaque.)

Naming Opportunities by Giving Level

Plaza $100,000
Fountain/Sculpture $50,000
Garden Beds $5,000
Outdoor table and chair sets $5,000

Background

Central Library was built in 1953 and was designed by Bauhaus-trained architect Marcel Breuer. The Bauhaus was a school in Weimar, Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts. Founded by Walter Gropius, the school operated from 1919 to 1933 and promoted the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk or “total work of art,” which was an integrated approach to design and a hallmark of the Bauhaus movement and aesthetic.

The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design and had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.

Central Library was included on the 2008 World Monuments Watch as part of the “Main Street Modern” category to encourage alternatives to demolition and build community support for preservation of modern architecture. The library exemplifies the post-war use of industrial materials and innovative technologies and represents a shift in American architecture when modernism was preferred over traditional styles to show progress and ingenuity.

Vision

The Central Branch of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, a gift to the Grosse Pointe Community from Dexter M. Ferry and
Murray Sales, was designed by renowned Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. Central was one of Breuer’s first major public commissions in the United States. It is an important piece of American architectural and social history, and we endeavor to be stewards of this gift, and share with the community and the world the importance of this building and the art within.

Mission

The Breuer Preservation Fund was established in June 2013 to preserve and maintain the art and architectural integrity of the Central Library, the only Marcel Breuer-designed building in the Detroit area, in the spirit in which it was built. The success of the Fund was instrumental in the restoration of the four major works of art in 2016.

Goals

The goals of the Breuer Preservation Fund are:

  1. Period-appropriate improvements to the Central Library Branch.
  2. Advocacy initiatives focused on the Bauhaus movement, modern art and modern design.

"All you need in life is truth and beauty and you can find both at the public library." –Studs Terkel

James Davis

"“Creating an active, welcoming outer library is essential to the well-being of the library and community as a whole." –Project for Public Spaces PPS.org

James Davis

Contact

Questions?

For Information contact Grosse Pointe Library Foundation at 313.640.4683 or use the form to send us an E-mail. For urgent inquiries, please call.