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Howard Sims, known for both his iconic Detroit buildings and his trailblazing efforts to diversify the fields of architecture, planning and design, has died at age 82, according to a family spokesman.

Mr. Sims passed away early Thursday in Detroit due to complications from a heart attack, said David Rudolph.On Friday, a public viewing will held at one of the buildings Mr. Sims helped create -- the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Avenue. The viewing will be from 2-8 p.m. On Saturday, an 11 a.m. funeral is planned at Empowerment Church, 24300 Southfield Road in Southfield.

In 1964, Mr. Sims founded his Detroit firm, Sims and Associates, which today is known as SDG Associates, downtown. It is Michigan’s oldest black-owned architecture firm, Rudolph said.

Mr. Sims played a key role in designing the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the renovated Cobo Center, the Millender Center apartments, the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority Public Dock & Terminal and the Wayne County Community College main campus.

Elsewhere in Michigan, some of his notable projects include the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan and facilities at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

He and his wife, Judith, established several scholarships, intended for students of color pursuing architecture and planning careers, at the University of Michigan and Lawrence Technological University.

One of the scholarships set up at Lawrence Tech honors a former student from Jamaica who died. The scholarship targets architecture students from Jamaica.

Mr. Sims was born in Detroit, graduated from Northwestern High School and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the University of Michigan.

He is survived by his wife, Judith, and four children. An April 9 funeral is set at Empowerment Church, 24300 Southfield Road in Southfield.

laguilar@detroitnews.com

Twitter: LouisAguilar_DN

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