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Spring 2008

Alumni Profile: Rainy Hamilton, Jr. '79hamilton

President, Hamilton Anderson Associates architecture firm

From the glittering MGM Grand casino to the sleek new YouthVille activity center, the diverse architectural designs of Hamilton Anderson Associates can be seen through­out the Detroit area. And, no one is prouder than the firm’s president, architect Rainy Hamilton, Jr. ’79.

With a commitment to urban planning and architecture, Hamilton founded the firm in 1994 when he formed a partnership with landscape architect, Kent Anderson. Since then, the firm has grown to 130 employees with a second office in Las Vegas and annual billings of more than $16 million. In recognition of its innovative designs, the firm has received numerous awards including the top honor award from the National Association of Minority Architects for the past three years.

“My goal is to make significant positive architectural contributions to urban environments,” says Hamilton. “I work in Detroit, I live in Detroit and, obviously, my heart’s in Detroit. I want to help create a wonderful vibrant city where people enjoy living and playing.”

In addition to his focus on Detroit—and as a result of his tremendously successful input on the MGM Grand casino project—Hamilton and his firm are currently involved in the CityCenter project, a $7.6 billion mixed-use development in Las Vegas that will include hotels, a casino, retail outlets and luxury condominium units.

After graduating from U of D in 1979, summa cum laude, Hamilton worked with two Detroit architectural firms—Schervish, Vogel, Merz and SmithGroup—for 14 years before forming his own firm.  

A native Detroiter, Hamilton currently lives in the University District and serves on the University Commons Organization to help improve the Livernois Avenue corridor. Hamilton was recently re-elected to the University District Community Association Board.  

When he’s not working, he enjoys model rail­roading and plans to have a railroad layout in his new office when the firm moves to expanded quarters in downtown Detroit’s First National Building this spring.

In looking back on his success, Hamilton credits his father with instilling him with his entrepreneurial spirit and ethic for hard work. “My dad used to operate his own landscaping business in the mornings and then go to work on the afternoon shift at Ford Motor Company. Now he’s retired from Ford, but at 81 years of age, he’s still cutting lawns,” says Hamilton proudly. “Through the years, working alongside him, I learned the benefits of having your own business and the value of hard work.”