Evans Graham
Preservation Award

Created in 1998 to honor the memory of David Evans, FAIA, a talented and generous preservation architect, the award provides financial assistance and recognition to groups or individuals seeking to preserve historic Michigan architecture.

Ralph and Jeanne Graham, co-founders of the award, guided its development until their passing. The Award was re-named in 2015 to honor their leadership and contribution. Today, the Award of $15,000 is granted annually by a jury based on the merits of the project. The 2021 application deadline is March 31, 2021.

For more information, contact Carl Roehling:


Criteria for Selection


The project demonstrates creative solution(s) to a preservation problem.


The final result will benefit the community within which it resides aesthetically, with increased visibility or as an educational influence.


The project reflects the values of David Evans, and Ralph and Jeanne Graham:

  • Represents design and technical excellence
  • Is impactful – will make a difference
  • Is a model for others to follow

Project Requirements

  • The project must be owned or led by an IRS qualified non-profit organization
  • The project must be located within the State of Michigan
  • The project must have an American Institute of Architects Michigan (AIAM registered architect) member involved as a consultant, advisor, or volunteer. A list of AIAM architects willing to provide pro bono consulting is available at the end of this document.


Application Requirements

It is the intent of the jury to make the submission as efficient and succinct as possible to save time for applicants. The quality of the submission is more important than the quantity of exhibits. To that end, applicants should submit their project in conformance with the following outline.

1. Cover Letter (1 page)

The letter should include; name of the project, name of the organization, confirmation of IRS status, name of contact person, contact information, and a paragraph summarizing how the project addresses the three criteria for the award.

2. Project Team (1 page)

Brief description and history of the organization. Project leaders from the organization. List of professionals and contractors involved in the project and their roles. Name of AIAM member involved and their role.

3. Project Description (2 pages)

Answer the following questions:

  • What is the story/history of the project?
  • What preservation problem(s) does it address?
  • What are the creative solutions?
  • What are the benefits to the community?
  • What is the budget for the project?
  • How will the award dollars be spent?

4. Project Exhibits (4 pages maximum)

Provide the graphic information that is most important to the case for the award. This may include photographs, renderings, plans or details that describe the project and its creativity, quality and benefits to the community.



Organizations will submit a PDF application and project description by email to Carl Roehling, FAIA, MAF Evans Graham Preservation Award Committee Chair, cdroehling@gmail.com, beginning in February.

  • Submissions must be received by the end of the day March 31, 2021.
  • The Evans Graham Preservation Award Jury will deliberate and select the recipient in April. The successful organization will be notified the same day.
  • The Award will be formally presented at the Michigan Architectural Foundation Annual Meeting.
  • The Award money will be distributed thereafter.


  • Dan Bollman, AIAEast Arbor Architecture201 E Grand River AvenueEast Lansing, MI 48823Phone: (517) 993-8148debollman@comcast.net
  • Randy Case, AIAArchitecture + Design Inc.36 East Michigan AvenueBattle Creek, MI 49017Phone: (269) 966-9037rcase@aplusd.biz
  • Alan Cobb, FAIAAlbert Kahn Associates Inc.Fisher Building3011 – 1800 W. Grand BoulevardDetroit, MI 48202Phone: (313) 202-7000alan.cobb@akahn.com
  • Norm Hamann, Jr., AIA, LEED APDiekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering612 South Park StreetKalamazoo, MI 49007Phone: (269) 373-1108nhamannjr@dhae.com
  • Jeff Hausman, AIASmithGroup500 Griswold Street Suite 1700Detroit, MI 48226Phone: (313) 983-3600jeff.hausman@smithgroup.com
  • Bob Hoida, AIAHobbs + Black Architects100 North State StreetAnn Arbor, MI 48104Phone: (734) 663-4189bhoida@hobbs-black.com
  • Gene Hopkins, FAIAHopkinsBurns Design Studio4709 North Delhi RoadAnn Arbor, MI 48104Phone: (734) 424-3344gene.hopkins@hopkinsburns.com
  • Elisabeth Knibbe, FAIAPhone: (734) 516-9230eknibbe@knibbe.com
  • Dan La Pan, AIA, LEEDR.C. Hendrick & Son2885 South Graham RoadSaginaw, MI 48609Phone: (989) 781-8116dan@rchendrick.com
  • Les Tincknell, FAIAWTA architects100 South Jefferson AvenueSuite 601Saginaw, MI 48607Phone: (989) 245-6298ltincknell@wtaarch.com
2020 Award Recipient

Starkweather Memorial Chapel

Former funeral venue transformed into a festive community asset

The $10,000 grant will help support the restoration and adaptive reuse of the 1888 funeral chapel for private and community events.

The sandstone, copper and brick Richardsonian Romanesque-style chapel, designed by renowned architects Mason & Rice, was built as a memorial to John Starkweather from his wife Mary Ann, both prominent members of the Ypsilanti community. The building’s unique stained-glass windows were designed by Tiffany of New York. The Starkweather family also funded many Ypsilanti landmarks, including Starkweather Hall at Eastern Michigan University, the Hebe Fountain on South Huron Street, and the Ladies Library Association building, Mary Ann Starkweather’s former home.

The creative adaptive reuse, combined with the technically excellent restoration of the building and its stained glass, make the Starkweather Memorial Chapel restoration a model preservation effort for communities across the entire State of Michigan.