Ralph and Jeanne Graham Receive Michigan Architectural Foundation Leadership Award











Supporting projects that generate pride in our local communities and history is a priority for the Michigan Architectural Foundation (MAF). Many of those projects have been successful due to the dedication and generosity of individuals like Ralph and Jeanne Graham.

The Grahams have been recognized with the 2018 Michigan Architectural Foundation Leadership Award, for their commitment and support for architecture and preservation in Michigan. The award was presented to Jeanne, and to Ralph posthumously, at the 2018 AIA Michigan Honor Awards Ceremony.

In 1998, Ralph and Jeanne (through her family’s Clannad Foundation, and along with MAF board member Carl Roehling, FAIA) established the Evans Preservation Award, in honor of their late friend, preservation architect David Evans. The Grahams wanted to ensure that Evans’ voice and passion for preservation would not be silenced, by providing grant funds to non-profits and individuals to help to protect and restore important Michigan architecture.
When Ralph passed away in 2013, the grant program was renamed The Evans Graham Memorial Preservation Award. Ralph was a preservation advocate and MAF’s first public trustee; Jeanne has served on the award selection jury for several years.

“It is an honor for Michigan Architectural Foundation to recognize Ralph and Jeanne, for everything they have done to help protect and preserve Michigan architecture,” said MAF board member Tim Casai, FAIA, who presented the award. “Their dedicated leadership gave life to this important preservation program and continues to inspire and empower communities and organizations to save structures that may otherwise be lost.”

Over the past 20 years, Michigan architectural preservation projects receiving MAF Evans Graham Memorial Preservation Award grants include:
• Belle Isle Aquarium
• the 1889 Sault Sainte Marie News building (now home to the Chippewa County Historical Society)
• Charlevoix’s Pier Lighthouse
• Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House
• an 1850 Worker Row House (now a museum) in Detroit’s Corktown
• the King House, the last remaining house of the Odawa Indian’s Middle Village, near Good Hart
• 1858 DeLano Farms Homestead (2018 winner), now part of the Kalamazoo Nature Center

The award, which initially started at $5,000, was raised to $10,000 last year, through Jeanne’s continued generosity. Casai continued, “Without the vision and commitment of the Grahams, the grant program, and the impact it has had, would not have been possible. We appreciate everything they have done to support MAF’s efforts to increase awareness of how architecture, and our state’s rich architectural history, make lives better.”

Photos below: preservation projects benefiting from MAF Evans Graham Memorial Preservation Award grants include (clockwise from top left): Belle Isle Aquarium; Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House; the King House; DeLano Farms Homestead; 1850 Worker Row House