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DTMB part of multi-agency project receiving Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) Design and Construction Division, along with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks & Recreation Division, Hallack Contracting, GEI Consultants Inc., Sanders & Czapski Associates, and Wolfe House Movers, were honored May 5 with a Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation for the relocation and rehabilitation of the Orchard Beach State Park shelter building in Manistee Township.  

Orchard Beach Shelter

Completed in 1947, the shelter building at Orchard Beach State Park was originally perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan and is one of the finest examples of rustic park architecture found in Michigan’s state parks. However, rapidly changing water levels, significant erosion, and slope failure caused the bluff to erode toward the building. While moving a historic building is rarely a first choice, sometimes conditions make such a decision necessary.

The carefully coordinated, dynamic approach to move the shelter from its original location embodied the progressive thinking needed to preserve the historic integrity of the building, while accommodating changes occurring in the natural environment. The total project included relocation of the shelter to a new site 1,200 feet away, construction of a new foundation, and reconstruction of terraces and breezeways using carefully cataloged historic limestone from the original site. The move also presented the opportunity to install new utility services and ADA-accessible bathrooms. The effort aimed to minimize both cost and impact to park operations and was carried out in consideration of the public use season and overall visitor experience.

The shelter was carefully rolled to its new site further from the bluff at the end of 2020. The new location preserves the shelter’s unique lakeshore views, while also allowing for park users and nature to coexist in the best way possible for generations to come.

Read more about the historic preservation of the shelter building at Orchard Beach State Park on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation website.

Watch the Video: Orchard Beach State Park Shelter Building Move

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