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Detroit Renaissance Center Oral Histories

 Collection
Identifier: WSOH002231
The collection consists of 39 recorded interviews with individuals working at, with, and in the vicinity of the Renaissance Center, or residents of the area, about the newly built Renaissance Center and its influence on Detroit. Some particular topics discussed are site archaeology and demolition, building and construction of the Renaissance Center, architecture of nearby buildings, and changes to the area over time. Notable businesses and organizations affiliated with interviewees include the Detroit Plaza Hotel and its restaurant inside the Renaissance Center, as well as the following: Actors Renaissance Theatre; Detroit Annual Conference, United Methodist Church; DuMouchelles Art Gallery, Gaurdian Equipment Company (lightning protection), Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, Local 24; Mariner's Church of Detroit; and the North American Indian Association of Detroit. Interview files consist of recordings, transcripts, indexes, photographs, and background files including clippings and pamphlets. Not all types of materials exist for every interview. No transcripts exist for the Eugene O'Connor interview or the Palmo Campo interview. The Palmo Campo interview recording is unintelligible owing to poor audio quality. A short document from the project listing interviewees, their affiliations, primary topics, and other interview information is included at the beginning of Box 1.
Interviews were conducted with the following individuals: Michael Abela, Aaron Baker, John Brookner, Palmo Campo, Harrien F. Clark, Madelyn Coe, Don Cook, Artelia Bowne Court, Lawrence F. Du Mouchelle, James Durham, Emily Gail, Shelley A. Hansen, Deborah S. Hawkins, Constance “Connie” Hintzen, William G. Humphrey, the Rev. Richard Wallace Ingalls, Peter J. Kauffman, Kenneth Kendrick, Beverly Klemola, Carlton Little, Peg A. Lukacs, Charles Martinez, Barbara Milutin, Raymond J. Minne, John Henry Murray, Casimer and Lillian Nowosielski (interviewed together), Eugene O'Connor, Jill O'Donnell, Charles W. Painter III, David Paval, Scott Jay Roberts, William Bennett Shanks, the Rev. Phylemon D. Titus, Kathy Vachon, William George Vogan, Ronald Wagenberg, Peter Waldmeir, Jim Wilson, Harry Wolf, and George Zonars.

Interviewers include the following individuals: Barbara Acker, Gary Balfantz, Rita Bartone, Tobe Berkovitz, Bruce B. Brown, Richard Cochran, Loretta Cuddihy, Leon Deneweth, Thomas Featherstone, Lonnie (Yolanda) Fleischer, Mary Fran (Mary Frances) Galvin, Linda Grabner, Johnnie (John M.) Green, Douglas M. Haller, James R. Hillman, Karen Krepps, Janet Krawulski, Sheila Macgregor (then Sheila Macdonald), Robert G. Marshall, Richard Evans Morse, Terrance Norwood, Patricia Painter, Mary Ellen Pare, Christopher Paton, Gerald Roe, Kathleen Roe, Mary Ann Sergott, Kurt Shuck, Virginia Sweeny, C. David Teeter, Mary Trenner, Loretta Vitek, Seth Wigderson, and Donna Willis.

Dates

  • 1977 - 1980

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

The Gary Balfantz oral history interview, the Constance Hintzen oral history interview, the John H. Murray oral history interview, and the Dave Paval oral history interview are closed at the request of the interviewees. The Artelia Bowne Court oral history interview is closed at the request of the interviewer.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

RESTRICTIONS: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.

The William George Vogan oral history interview is restricted at the request of the interviewer, David Teeter. In addition, there is no release form for this interview. It is to be used for research purposes only. The Palmo Campo interview is also missing a release.

Extent

2 Linear Feet ((3 MB, 1 OS).) : Includes 37 transcripts and 44 audiocassettes.

Abstract

Students in Patricia L. Pilling's Wayne State University course on oral history methodology conducted oral histories as part of their coursework. The Detroit Renaissance Center Oral History Project spanned multiple semesters between 1977 and 1980. Students interviewed individuals with some affiliation to the Renaissance Center. The collection consists of 39 recorded interviews with individuals working at, with, and in the vicinity of the Renaissance Center, or residents of the area, about the newly built Renaissance Center and its influence on Detroit. Some particular topics discussed are site archaeology and demolition, building and construction of the Renaissance Center, architecture of nearby buildings, and changes to the area over time. Notable businesses and organizations affiliated with interviewees include the Detroit Plaza Hotel and its restaurant inside the Renaissance Center, as well as the following: Actors Renaissance Theatre; Detroit Annual Conference, United Methodist Church; DuMouchelles Art Gallery, Gaurdian Equipment Company (lightning protection), Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, Local 24; Mariner's Church of Detroit; and the North American Indian Association of Detroit. Interview files consist of recordings, transcripts, indexes, photographs, and background files including clippings and pamphlets. Not all types of materials exist for every interview.

History

Students in Patricia L. Pilling's Wayne State University course on oral history methodology conducted oral histories as part of their coursework. The Detroit Renaissance Center Oral History Project spanned multiple semesters between 1977 and 1980. Students interviewed individuals with some affiliation to the Renaissance Center.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into transcripts and recordings. Transcripts and recordings are organized alphabetically by interviewee last name.

Custodial History

The original name of the project was the Detroit Renaissance Center Oral History Student Project.

Acquisition

The collection was deposited by Wayne State University oral history instructor and Reuther Library staff member Patricia L. Pilling around or after 1980.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on September 8, 2015.
Title
Guide to the Detroit Renaissance Center Oral Histories
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Rebecca Bizonet.
Date
2015-09-08
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA