Remembering MHPN Founding Member
Loss of an MHPN Founding Member is Mourned by the Preservation Community
The Michigan Historic Preservation Network has learned that Louisa Pieper died on Wednesday, August 15, at the age of 80. As a Founding Member of the MHPN, Louisa was extraordinarily important to our organization, not just in its early years but throughout its lifetime.
Many remember when the statewide non-profits were being established around the country in support of each state’s preservation efforts. We got our organization started in Michigan in 1981, with Louisa being one of the founding members. In its earliest years, the MHPN could easily have faltered as so many well-intentioned non-profits always have. But Louisa was already a senior practitioner of preservation in the state along with some others from communities that were the earliest to use Michigan’s Local Historic Districts Act, PA 169 of 1970. She and the other founders could see that unless there was a forum in which local preservationists could speak with one voice, we would not be able to advance the preservation movement in Michigan. She recognized there was power in numbers. This has proven to be true. Now, 38 years later, the MHPN is a well-established organization nurtured by hundreds of leaders – both volunteer leaders and able staff – who have helped the MHPN do remarkable work and be acknowledged as a respected voice in protecting historic resources. Louisa was always proud of the MHPN and we extend our gratitude to her.
For those of you who did now know Louisa, or didn’t know her well, find the link for the text from the Lifetime Achievement Award she received from the MHPN in 2010. Also take a moment and read the MILive/Ann Arbor News piece that came out this past weekend. It notes Louisa’s involvement in the MHPN and so much more.
The Pieper Family will be having a memorial service but plans are not yet firm. We’ll let you know when we have the details.
This is really a sad piece of news for the entire preservation community….