Dynamic Duo at the 2019 AIA Michigan Honor Awards by Tamara Burns

We hate to brag, but the team at HopkinsBurns Design Studio is so proud of its leaders that we can’t help ourselves!  Congratulations to Gene and Tamara on the awards received at the recent AIA Michigan 2019 Honor Awards.  Tamara Burns, FAIA, received the prestigious Hastings Award which was established to recognize a specific outstanding contribution to the architectural profession.  Gene Hopkins, FAIA, was recipient of the Michigan Architectural Foundation Leadership Award.  His decades of leadership in numerous professional and community organizations continues to build a legacy of excellence and advocacy in support of advancing public awareness and understanding of how architecture enriches life. 

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Evan hall pursues coaching career with U of M hockey by Tamara Burns

HopkinsBurns Design Studio regretfully announces the departure of Associate Architect, Evan Hall.  Evan has been with HopkinsBurns since he graduated with his Master of Architecture in 2010, and he leaves his mark on our firm in the many projects he worked on as well as our portfolio of annual Holiday Cards.  “Evan really gets that it’s all about the people at HopkinsBurns, from co-workers to clients,” Tamara points out. 

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Hockey has always been a passion for Evan, and when the opportunity came to join the coaching staff of the University of Michigan Hockey Team he couldn’t pass it up!  Evan has played hockey since he was five, even marrying a hockey player.  While in graduate school and working at HopkinsBurns, Evan found time to coach a AAA youth hockey team, scout for a Jr. team and assist the U of M team and the U of M video coordinator.  His new responsibilities include video and statistical analysis, pre-scouting opponents, and live game breakdown, as well as assisting in the day-to-day operations of the team.  Evan has always been interested in teaching and says, “this position affords me the opportunity to work with young adults that are striving to be the best hockey players they can be.”

One might assume that Hockey and Architecture don’t have much in common, but in Evan’s case they both involve deploying advanced computer software.  At HopkinsBurns Evan was the go to guy for creating amazing architectural graphics and now he’s employing complex digital video systems to develop athletes.

Evan’s talents and cheerful, enthusiastic presence are greatly missed in our office, but the entire HopkinsBurns team wishes him the best in his new endeavor.   Tamara expressed it best, remarking that “we all miss Evan, but we are very proud of him and excited to see what this new chapter holds for him”, adding, “I hope he knows that if he ever wants to come back, the door is always open.”  The warm feelings are mutual, as Evan explains: “My time at HopkinsBurns was filled with great memories. It was a tremendous learning experience and I cannot thank Tamara and Gene enough for giving me an opportunity directly out of graduate school, and being so supportive of my decision to pursue this opportunity.” 


An opportunity to join the HopkinsBurns team! by Tamara Burns

HopkinsBurns Design Studio is seeking a Preservation Architect.

Licensed architect with minimum 10 years of experience in all aspects of historic preservation
and architecture, from research and analysis to technical expertise in creating construction
documents. Experience in preservation technology, working with the Secretary of the Interior
Standards, and historic preservation tax credit work is required.
Interested individuals should be motivated, self-directed, and interested in being a part of a
highly collaborative office setting. This position would entail leading projects, mentoring staff
and providing leadership in the office.

HopkinsBurns Design Studio’s work ranges from public buildings to residential projects in the
practice areas of historic preservation and communities by design. Recent notable projects
include the Michigan State Capitol, Grand Hotel, Fishtown, Vicksburg Paper Mill, and
rehabilitation of the most historic buildings on the University of Michigan and Michigan State
University campuses.

Interested parties should submit their letter of interest with resume to:

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4709 N. Delhi Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
T| 734.424.3344 F| 734.864.5746

Remarkable Link Between Projects by Tamara Burns

There is a surprising link between two historic projects currently on the boards at HBDS!  Both Gordon Hall in Dexter and the Elk Rapids District Library were owned in the early 20th Century by Katharine Dexter McCormick, who was a remarkable person in her own right.

Katharine Dexter McCormick was actually born in Gordon Hall, which was built by her grandfather, Samuel W. Dexter.  Samuel W. Dexter was a founding father of the Village of Dexter, and a noted abolitionist.  Gordon Hall is generally accepted to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad, and HBDS is involved in the ongoing restoration of this local landmark.  In 1950 Katharine Dexter McCormick donated the hall to the University of Michigan, who later sold it to its current owner, the Dexter Area Historical Society.

Gordon Hall, Dexter Michigan

Gordon Hall, Dexter Michigan


Meanwhile, “up north”, Katharine Dexter McCormick was the last private owner of the house on the “Isle of Pines”, where the Elk River flows into Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay.  The house had been built by Dexter native Edwin Noble, a friend and business partner of Katharine’s father, Wirt Dexter.  In 1948 Katharine Dexter McCormick deeded it to the town of Elk Rapids which converted the house into a library in 1949.  Today HBDS is working on the renovation and expansion of this beloved local landmark.

Elk Rapids District Library, Elk Rapids, Michigan

Elk Rapids District Library, Elk Rapids, Michigan


Born in Dexter in 1875, Katharine Dexter McCormick was a biologist, suffragist and philanthropist.  She was the second woman to graduate from MIT.  Katharine left her mark as a noted activist and philanthropist, and is credited with funding the research which developed the first oral contraceptive.   You never know what background studies for historic preservation will turn up!

Sources:  http://www.elkrapidslibrary.org/about-the-library/history-of-the-library.html; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_McCormick

Gene and Tamara Attend Red Carpet Premiere by Tamara Burns

Tamara Burns with her husband, Dennis McGowan and Gene Hopkins with his wife Jane were recently photographed on the red carpet at the World Premiere of a new documentary on the life of Eero Saarinen at the Cranbrook Museum of Art.  The film will have its national broadcast debut on PBS this December, as part of the popular PBS series, American Masters.  You can catch a brief preview at: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/eero-saarinen-documentary..

Dennis McGowan, Tamara Burns, Jane Hopkins and Gene Hopkins on the Red Carpet at the Cranbrook Art Museum

Dennis McGowan, Tamara Burns, Jane Hopkins and Gene Hopkins on the Red Carpet at the Cranbrook Art Museum

Tamara Burns, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects by Tamara Burns


HBDS is honored and excited to share the news that Tamara Burns, Principal and Co-founder, has been elevated to the College of Fellows of the American institute of Architects.

Tamara would like to express her gratitude to her colleagues, clients, and community for all the opportunities and challenges, to her husband Dennis McGowan and the rest of her wonderful family for all their incredible support.  She extends special thanks to her friend and business partner Gene Hopkins, her sponsor and adopted dad, Robert Ziegelman, and the many people who wrote letters, reviewed the application and generally encouraged her to go for it! The investiture ceremony will take place during the AIA Convention on May 20th at the beautiful Irvine Auditorium on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

For those of you who want to know more, this is from Wikipedia and the AIA website: Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) is a post nominal, designating an individual who has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. The AIA Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to Fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also honors before the public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.

The Eugene Hopkins Distinguished Service Award by Tamara Burns

In addition to receiving numerous awards at the recent AIA Huron Valley award gala, as a firm, HopkinsBurns Design Stuido is proud to announce that firm principal Tamara Burns received the prestigious Eugene Hopkins Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her many years of active service to the AIA and the architecture profession.  Congratulations, Tamara!  We at HopkinsBurns are so proud of you.

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AIA Huron Valley Awards by Tamara Burns


The HopkinsBurns team is excited to announce that we received multiple awards at the recent AIA Huron Valley gala awards ceremony. For being “well known and respected within the Architecture Community and clearly demonstrating professional depth, breadth, collaboration or expertise” HBDS was presented a 2016 Firm Achievement Award

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The Wizard of Boulder Park by Tamara Burns

Sept 30, 2015- Charleviox, Michigan- The Wizard of Boulder Park

In this one minute excerpt from the film, preservation architects Tamara Burns and Eugene Hopkins discuss the works of Earl A. Young, builder of the famous Mushroom Homes of Charlevoix, Michigan.

The 49-minute documentary is now available on DVD at bonamifilmworks.com.