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May 07, 1988 - Image 83

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-05-07

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Toby Holtzman's office collection of
architectural books is the company library


nter Toby Holtzman's office
and enter a different dimen-
sion. Besides the de
rigueur desk, chair and
telephone, there is a special col-
lection of books, architectural
treasures and a statement on
spatial relations.
Holtzman, a senior partner in
the development company
Holtzman and Silverman, says he
has always collected. "Always is
the answer. You have to be almost
born a collector. I chose books
and printed matters as my field,"
he explains.
Holtzman's office collection is a
small architectural library with
three categories: books on ar-
chitects like Frank Lloyd Wright; a
housing collection, which is the
main business of his company;
and a city planning selection with
the histories of great cities. "I have
always used this in my business
life," says Holtzman. Members of
his third generation firm also con-
sult his reference materials.
If Holtzman's business library is
lacking, he visits the library at the
Lawrence Institute of Technology
where there is an architectural
library of rooms reconstituted from
Albert Kahn's library. But most
builders could find the answer in
Holtzman's library.
One answer Holtzman will not
divulge is the number of books he

has in his collection. He
challenges the reporter to count
them — a task that would take a
few days.
His contemporary office design
is as interesting as his reference
material. The floor is white tiles, the
desk is stainless steel and the pur-
ple and black conversation pit is a
conversation piece. Commission-
ed by the Museum of Modern Art,
built by Italian architects, a visitor
steps up the stairs and sits on
black cushions in a box-like unit,
which has shelves, drawers,
decks, and could be converted in-
to a table or a bed. In this space
saver environment Holtzman can
hold conferences. "Spatial rela-
tionships get worked out here," he
Another art piece is a stained
glass window by Frank Lloyd
Wright. Holtzman also has the last
copyright and first furniture piece
by Buckminster Fuller. This
stainless steel case is an octagonal
design and floats with wire strings
attached to the wall. Here
Holtzman houses his Buckminster
Fuller book collection.
Holtzman points to four sket-
ches on the wall of Buckminster
Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Cor-
busier and Mies Van der Rohe.
They are his heroes. "These are
what I call the form givers. They
are my favorites and I have assign-



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