by Ryan Felton
Preservation Detroit, the city's largest historic preservation group, announced today Claire Nowak-Boyd as its new executive director.
“We are thrilled to bring Claire on board to help us grow Preservation Detroit,” Amy Elliott Bragg, president of the Board of Directors, said in a statement. “Her talent, experience, and vision will be a tremendous resource for our membership and for the greater community, and we’re very eager for the challenges we will tackle together.”
Nowak-Boyd will boost the group's administrative capacity, strengthen its community partnerships and develop philanthropic support, the group said in a news release.
Nowak-Boyd moved to Detroit four years ago and, as part of the nonprofit, faith-based group MOSES Transportation Task Force, has been an outspoken advocate for alternatives to the proposed widening of I-94. She recently graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts in urban studies, according to the release.
“I’m interested in the ways that the preservation of historic buildings can dovetail with keeping longtime residents and businesses in place as Detroit rebuilds,” Nowak-Boyd said in a statement of her angle of interest in the city’s unique preservation challenges.
Nowak-Boyd, who will report to the group's board of directors, previously served as co-chair of the Mullanphy Emigrant Home Committee of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, which focused on stabilizing an 1860s building recognized on the list of the National Register of Historic Places, the release says. She founded the North Side Community Benefits Alliance in her hometown of St. Louis, a group of nearby neighbors that worked to preserve the social fabric of the Near North Side.
Preservation Detroit says Nowak-Boyd frequented local Preservation Review Board hearings, volunteered with the Building Arts Foundation and hosted a casual networking event for preservationists called Drinks & Mortar.
“I am honored for the opportunity to take a leadership role in protecting and advocating for Detroit’s architectural and cultural heritage," Nowak-Boyd says.
Editor's note: We misspelled Nowak-Boyd's name in our original story. We regret the error.