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Daily Detroit: Preserving the legacy of Albert Kahn

Our President Heidi Pfannes was a featured guest on Daily Detroit’s Podcast series. Heidi has long been a champion of preserving Albert’s legacy, which led her to rally a dedicated group of volunteers to launch this foundation.

During the interview, Heidi speaks about Albert, his family, and his firm’s early years. Did you know that several of Albert’s brothers played a role in the company?

Follow this link to learn more and hear the episode.

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Detroit News: Heidi Pfannes works to preserve Albert Kahn’s legacy

Thank you to The Detroit News for covering our visionary president, Heidi Pfannes.

“Little could Heidi Pfannes have known that decades after she first learned about Albert Kahn that she would one day spearhead an effort to preserve the Detroit architect’s legacy.”

Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News.

“It wasn’t deliberate. A series of life-altering circumstances relocated Pfannes and her family from southwestern to southeastern Michigan. In 2014, Pfannes, an interior design major in college who gained valuable years of experience in the construction and architecture fields, landed a senior-level position at the firm, founded by Kahn.

As the firm’s director of business development, Pfannes regularly finds herself fielding inquiries from clients and others interested in gaining access to the company’s archives. That on-going experience inspired an idea: Create a non-profit, community-based organization to preserve and maintain the archives and cultivate the legacy of Kahn, who is considered one of the foremost industrial architects of the 20th century but who also remains largely unknown.

‘Outside of the Detroit area, people don’t know who Kahn is,’ says Pfannes, recalling she only learned about the renowned architect as a student at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. ‘He has impacted so much of the world and people don’t know who he is. We have work to do. That story has to be told.'”

Follow this link to read the full article written by Greg Tasker.

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Virtual Event: April 27

Have you seen our new upcoming event? Head on over to our events page!

On April 27th at 7 pm we are thrilled to host a free virtual event: Albert Kahn Designs Detroit – Talk with Michael Hodges.

Hodges will discuss topics from his recent book, and there will be time for Q&A after the talk. For all our Kahn lovers out there, this is a can’t miss event. So, hurry up and register as space is limited.

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The Jewish News: Foundation Launch

The Jewish News just published an article on the newly formed Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation. Scroll down for the link to the entire article.

“Many Detroiters have visited the Fisher Building, Bonstelle Theatre or the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium without realizing that they were designed by Albert Kahn.”

“He hasn’t gotten his place among famous Detroiters — his story doesn’t go everywhere although his work does,” says Heidi Pfannes, senior associate and director of business development at Albert Kahn Associates Inc. and president of the new Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation board.

“Last year, a group of local historians, architects, archivists and other interested volunteers established the Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation to ‘celebrate and preserve the legacy of Albert Kahn, often described as the foremost American industrial architect of the 20th century.'”

Follow this link to learn more about the Foundation’s goals and upcoming initiatives in the full article written by Shari Cohen.


For media inquiries, write to us: info@albertkahnlegacy.org.

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Gift a Membership!

Give the gift of membership to the Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation this Holiday Season.  

Membership levels begin at just $25.

Visit this page to give the gift that keeps the Legacy alive for future generations.  When making a gift membership please include the recipient’s name, email, and address in the comments field.  


Questions? info@albertkahnlegacy.org or (313) 451-4688.

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New Foundation to Preserve the Legacy of the “Architect of Detroit”

Detroit, Michigan. September, 2020  

The Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation is a new nonprofit organization established to celebrate and preserve the life, work, and impact of Detroit’s most iconic and celebrated architects of the 20th century: Albert Kahn.

“Albert Kahn’s name evokes emotions in many people for various reasons.  The inspiration Albert Kahn gives us is that one person does have the ability to change the world,” explained Heidi Pfannes, President of the Foundation. “He shared his influence with those around him, changing conversations, which changed industries, and changed lives.”

“No other architect has had the impact that Albert has on society,” continued Pfannes. “It is time we recognize the influence he has made on our world.  As a foundation, we get to celebrate his contributions, protect the legacy, and continue to share the impact of his legacy for future generations.”  

The Board of Directors is composed of historians, preservationists, architects, business leaders, and Kahn family members who share the belief that the work of Albert Kahn is worth preserving and protecting for future generations.

Located in the heart of Detroit, the Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation will collect, preserve, maintain, and display the work of Albert Kahn, sharing with the public the far-reaching influence and impact of his legacy. The Foundation will strive to keep Albert Kahn’s legacy alive by providing grants, scholarships, fellowships, exhibitions, educational tours, and much more. 

Check back here and on social media for more information and ways to get involved.