To my mentors and the Michigan Architecture Foundation
As a young child, I grew up in a neighborhood surrounded by several acres of wooded space and wetlands, and I spent many hours hiking, riding my bike and building forts, enjoying the solitude of exploring on my own. One day, a majority of the property was sold to a development company and new condominiums and parking lots took the place of my childhood woodland escape.
I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have an appreciation for the environment around me and a need to preserve it in whatever way I could, so it’s no surprise that I gravitated toward a career in architecture and preservation.
In high school, I enrolled in a construction course at the Calhoun Area Career Center, where we built a house from the ground up. During this time, the CACC received a grant from the MHPN which allowed students to work on a variety of side projects, with an emphasis on the preservation trades to be overseen by local architect, Randy Case. Under his guidance and with the help of the MHPN grant, we worked together on the Kimball House Porch Project. This was my first exposure to historical renovation and under Randy’s mentoring, I learned many important skills; historic details, code compliance, and became familiar and competent in using the CAD software, Revit. When the school year came to an end, Randy hired me as an intern to work in his office, where six years later, I still remain.
Having had an early, supportive mentor in Randy, I realized how important it was going to be to surround myself with passionate, professional co-workers. That’s why I pursued work at Quinn Evans Architects during my senior year of undergrad. While there, I worked on many diverse projects; from the east steps of the Capitol building to a multilevel housing project in Detroit. Again, I was fortunate to work with passionate, professional, detail-oriented people who motivated and mentored me to new professional levels.
John Quincy Adams was quoted as saying, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the “leaders” in my life. I am extremely grateful to them, the MHPN, and the AIA Michigan President’s scholarship for the opportunity it affords me in pursuing my professional goals and ambitions. I look forward to a future which includes getting married this summer, finishing graduate school at the University of Michigan, and continuing to work with professional architects to preserve Michigan’s unique architecture.
Cody M. Newman