HOWARD F. SIMS
Sims-Varner and Associates now known as SDG Associates
African American AIA Fellow
SAY IT LOUD - Washington DC Exhibitor
Michigan Based Designer
Howard’s dedication to the community was further demonstrated by his strong philanthropic and mentorship activities. He travelled globally as a Board member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and provided support to the Boy Scouts of America, United Way, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and many other organizations.
HOWARD F. SIMS
Howard Sims knew from an early age that he wanted to be an architect. As the landscape in Detroit at the time didn’t provide internship opportunities to blacks in architecture, he joined the Navy as a draftsman to get experience in the field. Following his discharge, Howard received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1963, and a Master of Architecture degree in 1966, both from A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. In 1964, he started Howard Sims and Associates to further his creative vision as an entrepreneur. Howard’s dedication to the community was further demonstrated by his strong philanthropic and mentorship activities. He travelled globally as a Board member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and provided support to the Boy Scouts of America, United Way, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and many other organizations. Howard’s firm was one of the first minority architecture firms in Michigan, and his talents subsequently allowed him to gain experience and recognition outside of architecture as well, as a writer of Michigan’s first building codes, and as a board member of institutions such as the Federal Reserve, and Detroit’s Comerica Bank and DTE Energy. The Charles Wright Museum, a prominent Detroit landmark, remains one of Howard’s most iconic works. Visitors enjoy the beautiful cultural emblems and experience, and marvel at the breathtaking design and amazing echoes of the main rotunda.
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Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
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This huge museum of African American history expresses its purpose in form, motifs, and detail. The dome above a rotunda is based on African buildings, and the sculptural columns mimic a traditional African rope motif. The brass, bronze, mahogany, and marble materials are native to Africa. African masks, designed by Richard Bennett, mark the entrance and state the function. At its dedication the museum was the largest of its kind ever built.