Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Architect Kenneth Neumann passed away 1/19/07 Previous Next
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1869
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, January 20, 2007 - 10:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Architect put stamp on city: He championed progressive designs

BY JOHN GALLAGHER

"In a career spanning more than four decades, architect Ken Neumann put his mark on metro Detroit with numerous important designs, including the New Detroit Science Center and the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills.

Neumann, 67, died Friday of cancer. His wife of 45 years, Beverly; his son, Scott; his daughter, Sydney, and many other family members survive.

"He loved Detroit and never lost that feel for the city," said Steve Vogel, dean of architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy. "Perhaps like no other architect in my memory, he will be sorely missed."

Founder and head of the Southfield-based Neumann/Smith architecture firm, Neumann recently designed the new One Kennedy Square office building near Campus Martius in Detroit. The angular, green-tinted building marked a bold departure for the downtown skyline.

Explaining it in a 2005 interview, Neumann championed progressive architecture.

"In their cell phones and other gadgets, people want the very latest thing, from their TV sets to their toaster, and yet they still want to build like they did in the 11th Century," he said.

"It doesn't make sense."

Among his more notable works was the colorful and playful National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. He also produced several important buildings for Wayne State University's campus.

A native of Chicago, Neumann attended the University of Illinois and Harvard University and then came to Detroit to work for the city's famed director of planning, Charles Blessing, before starting his own firm in 1968."

SOURCE: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20070120/BUS INESS04/701200359/1010/NEWS08

Here's the Detroit News obituary: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20070120/U PDATE/701200420

I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Neumann speak at the Detroit Historical Museum's Architecture Series in 2005 when he spoke about architect Charles Blessing and his master plan for the Cultural Center. In 2006, Mr. Neumann was awarded the 2006 Charles Blessing Award by AIA Detroit. (http://www.aiami.com/aiadetroi t_honor_awards/2006_detroit_ho nor_awards/2006_detroit_design _awards.htm)

Thank you for your contributions to Detroit, Mr. Neumann!
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 298
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 21, 2007 - 1:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mr. Neumann really connected the gaps and pieces of Detroit architecture together. Sad that he is gone.

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