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Architectural Historian

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Posted: 10/01/2015

The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc.

A premier, progressive Civl and Environmental Consulting company with offices located throughout Michigan and Ohio.

Architectural Historian
Professional Opportunity
Detroit, MI
$Commensurate with Experience

The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. (MSG) and the City of Detroit are seeking a creative and energetic individual with an outstanding professional record to serve as Architectural Historian.  The position is under contract through MSG so the individual will be employed by MSG but will reside in the Citys offices. 

The ideal candidate will betechnically well-prepared and motivated, willing to engage with local leaders and assist our department in creating a participatory model of Urban Planning, Design and Development services that encourage population growth within the city and ensure that every neighborhood has a future.

Working under the direction of a Senior Architectural Historian, the Architectural Historian will be responsible for collaboration with dedicated planning staff handling multiple assignments including: small area or neighborhood plans, federal/state/local programs/services, design consultant teams, intergovernmental partnerships, private partnerships, operating budgets and project deadlines.

This role offers an extraordinary opportunity for an individual to make an immediate and lasting impact in one of Americas most iconic cities. Having recently emerged from bankruptcy, the City of Detroit stands at a critical moment in its history. With more than 1/3 of the Citys 139 square miles in public ownership, urban planning and land use are vital components in determining the citys future. The individuals best suited for this role will have an outstanding track record of accomplishment, strong leadership and project management skills, and a deep conviction that Detroit has a better future.


The candidate will provide key contributions in achieving the PD&D mission: To provide professional advice and technical expertise that promotes well-designed physical, social, economic, and environmentally healthy development within the City that enhances the quality of life for its residents, businesses and visitors. 

The work requires the exercise of considerable independent judgment, initiative, ingenuity and tact; maintaining knowledge of emerging trends concerning historic preservation; and extensive, productive interaction with City officials, other city agencies, the Historic District Commission, property owners, and developers.

ESSENTIAL/SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:  This position provides support to City/PDD Historic District Commission staff in the administration of its Historic Preservation Program. The following duties and responsibilities are illustrative of the primary functions of this position and are not intended to be all inclusive:

  • Research and write staff recommendations
  • Review building permit applications
  • Assist property owners with rehab, maintenance, and design review questions
  • Review construction projects in progress
  • Accurately read/interpret architectural plans
  • Assist with the administration of monthly HDC meetings
  • Conduct fieldwork to monitor for violations
  • Respond to violation reports on a timeline manner
  • Respond to department requests for information, as well as from the general public via email, telephone, and in person in a timely manner
  • Coordinates administration of HDC cases, case recommendations, meeting agendas, board packets, and on-site meetings as needed.
  • Conduct permit application reviews in locally designated historic districts with residents, contractors or other city staff
  • Conduct fieldwork to identify compliance with the Detroit historic district ordinance;
  • Conduct fieldwork to monitor demolition by neglect monitoring.
  • Write technical staff reports with architectural descriptions and project descriptions
  • Review work specifications and apply the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation,
  • Perform data entry and project tracking.

Additional responsibilities may include Section 106 duties including field photography of individual buildings and streetscape views; identification and evaluation of historic properties; property, historic maps and atlases research; searching building permits; and report preparation. 


Applicants must hold a Masters degree in Historic Preservation or closely related field and must meet the qualifications in Architectural History, Historic Architecture, or related fields in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Professional Qualification Standards, 36 C.F.R. Part 61, as published at 48 FR 44716 (1983).

Qualified applicants must have at least two years of experience in cultural resource planning and management accompanied by experience in historic preservation planning in a municipal agency or private sector business.

OPen until

How to apply
Please send cover letter, resumes and salary requirements: Cathy Niese: cniese@manniksmithgroup.com Application deadline is October 30. 2015. EOE.
Cathy Niese
Phone: 419-891-2222
1800 Indian Wood Circle
Maumee, OH 43537

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