Kahn emigrated from Westphalia, Germany to Detroit, Michigan with his family in 1880 or in 1881. He was self-educated in architecture but honored during his career by degrees from many universities and awards from professional societies, including being named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He was an employee at Mason & Rice, Detroit, from 1884 or 1885 to 1895, and became chief designer after his return from Europe where he traveled on a scholarship in 1891. Back from his travels in Europe, Kahn practiced in Detroit the rest of his life. He was originally a partner in the firm Kahn, Nettleton, and Trowbridge (formed in 1896) but when Alexander B. Trowbridge left the firm in 1897 to become dean of the Cornell University College of Architecture, Kahn was left alone after George W. Nettleton's death in 1900. Kahn worked in partnership with his former employer George D. Masson until 1902 and with Ernest Wilby from 1902-1918. The firm's work went under the title "Albert Kahn, Architect, Ernest Wilby, Associate." The name of the firm changed to Albert Kahn, Inc., possibly at the same time the firm's letterhead "Albert Kahn, Architect, Ernest Wilby, Associate" was replaced by "Albert Kahn / Architects and Engineers / Detroit, Michigan" with the name of the associates, including Ernest Wilby's. The firm name changed again from Albert Kahn, Inc. to Albert Kahn Associated, Inc. Architects and Engineers in 1940. The firm still exists under the name Albert Kahn Associates.