The Metro: Detroit architecture firm recognized for historic preservation efforts

The American Institute of Architects recently presented metro Detroit firm Quinn Evans with the Architecture Firm Award of 2024.

Metro Detroit architecture firm Quinn Evans has renovated several buildings and sites on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Metro Detroit architecture firm Quinn Evans has renovated several buildings and sites on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Detroit is known for many things. But the one thing that often is overlooked in the city is our architecture.

Quinn Evans, an architecture firm with offices in Ann Arbor and Detroit, has been working hard to preserve it. The firm has projects across the city — including the B. Siegel building on Livernois, restoration work around Belle Isle, and the Love Building in Core City.

The American Institute of Architects recently presented Quinn Evans with the Architecture Firm Award of 2024. The award recognizes a firm that has consistently produced notable works of architecture for at least 10 years. 

The firm’s Senior Associate Angela Wyrembelski and Designer Sara Timberlake joined The Metro on Wednesday to talk about what the award means and what they’re doing to preserve Detroit’s architectural history.

“This marks the first year that they’ve recognized a firm that is rooted in historic preservation,” Wyrembelski said of the award. “This really marks a shift in mindset that places matter, existing buildings matter, and architecture can make a big impact on an existing place by preserving what’s there.”

Detroit’s world class architecture is in every corner of the city, Timberlake says. It’s what makes our built environment unique to other cities. 

“What is special about Detroit is not only the downtown buildings that have this beautiful history, but even the houses and like the residential on the intimate level also have really unique housing,” Timberlake said. “Even I bought a house in the Bagley neighborhood and I love all the details that were there from the pre World War II housing and the ways that you see those different details across the different housing structures. So I really enjoy that in Detroit, in that way, architecture is a little democratized because everyone has an opportunity to experience it.” 

Use the media player above to hear the full interview with Angela Wyrembelski and Sara Timberlake of Quinn Evans.

More headlines from The Metro on April 17, 2024: 

  • State House Reporter for Gongwer News Service Elena Durnbaugh joins the show to discuss the results of special elections held on Tuesday in Michigan’s 13th and 25th House Districts. Warren Democrat and newly elected Representative for Michigan’s 25th District Mai Xiong also joined the show. 
  • Hockey is a BIG part of Detroit, but many kids in the city don’t have the opportunity to play. The Police Athletic League is starting a youth hockey league this spring and WDET’s Sascha Rayin spoke with Marcus Norwood, who heads the program. Norwood says he started playing competitive hockey as an adult, and making hockey accessible to kids in the city has since become his passion.
  • In Michigan, April 18 is “Detroit Champions Day.” It was declared in 1936 by Gov. Frank Fitzgerald to honor Detroit sports teams. Director of Collections and Curatorial at the Detroit Historical Museum Jeremy Dimick joined the show to discuss Detroit sports and how Champions Day came to be. The museum is hosting a free Champions Day event on Saturday, April 20.

Listen to The Metro weekdays from 11 a.m. to noon ET on 101.9 FM and streaming on-demand.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »