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Knibbe Named 2009 AIA Fellow for Economic Development, Historic Landmark Preservation Practices

Elisabeth Knibbe, B.S.’76, M.Arch./M.U.P.’78, a principal at QUINN EVANS | ARCHITECTS in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The 2009 Jury of Fellows elevated 112 AIA members to its prestigious College of Fellows, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession. Lis Knibbe was the only architect from the Michigan AIA to receive the award this year.

For 30 years Lis has pioneered the use of historic preservation as an effective economic development tool to save endangered landmarks, serve low-income communities, and recycle valuable resources and architectural treasures. By building strong relationships with community development organizations, private developers, and economic development consultants, Lis has repeatedly revitalized buildings viewed as unsalvageable by the traditional development community. She is also the leading architect in Michigan to apply federal and state historic preservation tax credit programs to extend the life of historic buildings, ensuring that future generations will benefit from our architectural legacy. And long before sustainable design became the norm, Lis has been recycling buildings, returning well over two million square feet of vacant and abandoned space to active use.

Throughout her professional career Lis has been an active member of public boards, ranging from a local historic district commission to the Michigan Historic Preservation Review Board. Her leadership has directly resulted in the establishment of successful community revitalization strategies, the adaptive use of historic buildings, and the investment of millions of dollars in school improvements.