April 15, 1951 – February 3, 2021
Gregory Charles Piazza moved to Detroit from Wisconsin to attend Wayne State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s in speech. He soon became enmeshed in local gay culture and in 1974 moved into the Palmer Park apartment district. His research was instrumental in having the neighborhood added to the National Register of Historic Places. Piazza was also long active in the leather club Tribe.
Between The Lines, February 11, 2021 [online only]
May 9, 1901 – April 6, 1968
Alma Minna Goetsch was born in Milwaukee and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before moving to East Lansing, where she taught as an art professor at Michigan State University for 37 years. In the late 1930s, Goetsch and her partner Kathrine Winckler commissioned famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for them in Okemos. The couple moved to Arkansas upon retiring in 1965.
Lansing State Journal, April 8, 1968
September 20. 1953 – December 12, 1992
Detroit native Allen Wallace majored in art history at Wayne State University and led protests in the 1970s to save the MacKenzie House, an effort that gave birth to Preservation Wayne. Wallace later worked with the Martha Graham Center in New York and as a publicity agent in Los Angeles, where he resided with his companion Michael Lombardo. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 39.
Detroit Free Press, December 17, 1992
WSU Alumni News, Winter 1993
November 18, 1914 – January 27, 1988
William Hawkins Ferry grew up in Detroit and attended Cranbrook before studying at Harvard University. The grandson of a founder of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Ferry became a noted collector, patron, and champion of 20th century art. An expert of architectural history, as well, his modernist 1964 home in Grosse Pointe Shores was featured in House Beautiful and Interiors magazines.
New York Times, January 28, 1988
Hawkins Ferry: The Original A-Gay
March 10, 1962 – July 11, 2006
Douglas McIntosh earned a B.S. in architecture from the University of Michigan in 1984 and a Masters from Yale in 1990. Three years later, he co-founded McIntosh Poris Associates in Birmingham and soon became a central voice for historic preservation. McIntosh served as president of Preservation Wayne and, with his life partner Scotty James, restored the 1896 Julius Melchers home in Detroit’s West Village.
Between The Lines, July 20, 2006
Model D, July 29, 2015