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College of Design


Research + Work

Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


In 2007 the Center for World Heritage Studies prepared an application for Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, to be included in the new U.S. Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, which will guide U.S. nominations for the next decade. One of the world’s most comprehensively designed and crafted educational environments, Cranbrook was the result of a partnership between patron and founder George Booth and Finnish American architect Eliel Saarinen. Located approximately 20 miles northwest of Detroit, the Cranbrook campus is the product of a collaborative design process involving architects, artists, and craftsmen who all contributed to Saarinen’s concept of the campus as a “total work of art.” Constructed primarily between 1908 and 1942, an intensive program of conservation and resonation has resulted in a high level of historical integrity and campus preservation. Cranbrook was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. Center for World Heritage Studies Research Associate Nancy A. Miller and Research Fellow Carole S. Zellie prepared the nomination, coordinating their work with Cranbrook staff. Although Cranbrook decided, due to internal factors, not to submit the application to the National Park Service at this time, it may be submitted at a later date.

Download the Cranbrook Project Summary