Master of Architecture Program Relishes Opportunity To Help Power Idlewild Revival

Posted October 8, 2021 in Master of Architecture


Idlewild: founded in 1912 as a haven for Black Americans in the age of Jim Crow, this rural Michigan community would grow to become one of the most popular resort destinations in the Midwest, a magnet for world-class musicians and entertainers, and a rare beacon of freedom in a time when racism and segregation denied so many access to leisure travel and recreation. When the tide began to change with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Idlewild saw its boomtown period quickly fade, but in the decades since many have been working to keep the rich history—and future prosperity—of this unique conduit of culture, community, and human connection alive.

group of people standing in front of recently constructed pavillion

This summer, students and faculty from the KCAD Master of Architecture program were fortunate to collaborate with the Idlewild African American Chamber of Commerce and the Idlewild Michigan Community Development Corporation to install a student-designed and built pavilion in the heart of town that will serve as a community gathering place as well as a communication hub that blends stories of Idlewild's history with current news and events.

To work alongside those striving to breathe new life into this incredible place is a privilege and an experience our students will not soon forget, and we can't wait to see what the future holds for this Michigan treasure!

two people building a pavillion

a carved pavillion with state of michigan outlined

two flags flying in front of a pavillion

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