Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board Meeting Minutes, January 16, 2015

Minutes of The

State Historic Preservation Review Board Meeting

January 16, 2015, 10:00 A.M.
Fourth Floor Boardroom, Michigan State Housing Development Authority
735 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan

Board Members Present
Rhonda Baker, Lynn Evans, Dale Gyure, Richard Harms, Misty Jackson, Ted, Ligibel, Jennifer Radcliff, Ron Staley

Board Members Absent
Elisabeth Knibbe 

Staff Members Present
Bob Christensen, Brian Conway, Martha MacFarlane-Faes, Bethany Berdes, Chelsea Sturza, Amy Arnold, Todd Walsh, Dean Anderson, Debra Johnson

Members of the Public Present
Richard E. Donovan (Francis surfboat), Fred Schmidt (Francis Surfboat), Bruce D. Levey (Duplain Township), Sigrid Bergland (MDOT Bridge)

Harms called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.

Approval of Agenda
Ligibel moved approval of agenda.
Evans supported the motion.
Vote: 8-0

Approval of Minutes
Evans moved approval of the minutes, as amended.
Radcliff supported the motion.
Vote: 8-0

Proposed Governor's Awards Candidates - Laura Ashlee

Woda Group, Hooker Dejong Architects & Engineers, and the City of Menominee –
The Rehabilitation of Lloyd’s Department Store, Menominee

Michigan Department of Transportation, Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, and Commonwealth Cultural Resource Group –
231/US-31 Holland to Grand Haven Archaeological Data Recoveries

Friends of the Bohm Theatre, Albion Community Foundation, the Greater Albion Community, Mitchell and Mouat Architects and Gordon Martin Builder, Inc. –
The rehabilitation of the Bohm Theatre

Eyde Company, Quinn Evans Architects, and Granger Construction –
The rehabilitation of J. W. Knapp’s Department Store, Lansing

Roxbury Group and Trans Inns Management, Kraemer Design, and Walbridge -
The rehabilitation of the David Whitney Building, Detroit

Moved for Approval:  Staley
Seconded:  Baker
Vote:  8-0

Election of Vice-Chairperson
Harms as nominating committee nominated Ligibel as Vice-Chairperson of the State Historic Preservation Review Board.
Staley moved the election of Evans as Vice-Chairperson
Radcliff seconded the motion.
Vote: 8-0

Staff Reports

Brian Conway, SHPO

  • The Heritage Restoration Grant Program is a new grant program in connection with MEDC for Non-Profit organizations.
  • The SHPO continues to work on the GIS database project.
  • Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program received 10 project grant applications for review.
  • The SHPO received four applications for the Certified Local Government Grant Program.
  • Lafayette Park, Detroit, is being nominated as a National Historic Landmark and the McGregor Center, Wayne State University, was approved as an NHL. Both nominations were done by Quinn Evans Architects.
  • The State of Michigan is no longer supporting the Listserve software. The SHPO is working with MHPN to find another host for this delivery system.
  • The SHPO just received applications for two new student assistant positions.
  • The SHPO Office is moving from the Michigan Library & Historical Center to the MSHDA building. As a result we are looking at our records and creating a digitization plan to make records more accessible for staff and the public.

Dean Anderson, Archaeology

  • Dean attended the Midwest Historical Archaeology Conference in Niles, which featured planning discussions on the Fort St. Joseph site.
  • Dean attended the Midwest Archaeology Conference held in Champaign, IL in October.
  • Archaeology Day was highly successful.  We extended the hours and had about 100 participants and over 400 attendees.
  • As part of compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), we are working with the University of Michigan to repatriate human remains in their holdings that were collected from state land.
  • We continue to work with the DNR on State Park management plans.  We are currently working on a plan for Fisherman’s Island State Park located in Charlevoix County.
  • We have received another report claiming that the wreck of the Griffon may have been found.  While the divers have definitely found a shipwreck, there is no evidence at this point that suggests the wreck may date to the 17th century.

National Register Nominations

Site:  Grist Mill Bridge, Dame, and Mill site, Duplain Township, Clinton County
Presented by:  Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval:  Ligibel with a modified expanded boundary to include the Mill Pond to the new bridge
Seconded:  Evans
Vote:  8-0
Criteria:  A and C
Level of Significance: State

There is a letter of support from a member of the Township Board.

Site:  Esra E. and Florence (Holmes) Beardsley House, Bronston Township, Branch County
Presented by:  Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval: Radcliff
Seconded: Staley
Vote:  8-0
Criteria:  C
Level of Significance:  Local

Site:  Francis metallic Surfboat, Douglas, Allegan County
Presented by:  Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval: Evans
Seconded:  Jackson
Vote:  8-0
Criteria: A and C
Level of Significance:  National

Site:  Delisting of Bay City Bascule Bridge, Bay City, Bay County
Presented by:  Todd Walsh
Moved for Approval: Radcliff
Seconded: Staley
Vote:  8-0
Criteria: N/A
Level of Significance: N/A

Site:  Ostego Hotel, Jackson, Jackson County
Presented by:  Todd Walsh
Moved for Approval: Radcliff
Seconded:  Evans
Vote:  8-0
Criteria: A and C
Level of Significance: Local

There is support by the Local Historic District Commission

Historic District Study Committee Reports - Amy Arnold

  • Modification of the boundaries of the Carriage Town Historic District, Flint

    Arnold summarized her written comments dated Dec. 19, 2014 (written comments presented below):

    The report is based on an inaccurate understanding of the authority of the historic district study committee. It is not the study committee’s role to modify existing district boundaries in order to allow the demolition of resources.  Requests for demolition within an established local historic district must go to the historic district commission.  State law gives the historic district commission the authority to either grant a Notice to Proceed or to reject the proposed demolitions. We are not saying that the Carriage Town historic district may not benefit from modification of the district boundaries.  However, the district should be reviewed as a whole and reasonable boundaries developed based on the Secretary of the Interior’s criteria for the National Register of Historic Places (history, significance, and integrity) not on proposed use or development intent.

    It is unclear why the study committee conducted interviews with members of the community on proposed plans or uses for the resources within the area under study. This is not the study committee’s role. Public Act 169 of 1970, as amended includes a public hearing in the local historic district study process to provide an avenue for public input.  The study committee’s role is to document the history and significance of the district and to assess the integrity of the resources in it based on the National Register criteria.  National Park Service Bulletin 21:  Defining Boundaries for National Register Historic Districts states “Selection of boundaries is a judgment based on the nature of the property’s significance, integrity, and physical setting.”   The bulletin also states that owner objection should not affect the identification of the boundaries. The study committee must base its decisions on the history, significance, and integrity of resources and not on proposed use, rehabilitation costs, financial feasibility of rehabilitation, SEV value, etc.  As written, the report provides almost no discussion of the history or integrity of the 58 resources said to be in the study area.  Therefore, in our opinion, this report does not meet the requirements set forth in Section 299.203 of Public Act 169 of 1970, as amended.

    There is no discussion in the report of the history and significance of the Native American site that was discovered in the Stone Street area.  This site should be reviewed using the National Register Criteria including Criterion D:  Information Potential.  Retention of the current district boundaries to protect this site might be an outcome of such a review.

    The map included in the report is not adequate.  The street names are too small to be readable.  The map should include the current district boundary depicted by a heavy, dark line.  The proposed boundary change should be included on the same map in by a dashed line.  The map should include lot lines and should show vacant lots, contributing, and non-contributing buildings. The map should include the name of the district, city, county, date and a north arrow.

    The report should include photographs of streetscapes and of individual buildings within the area to give the reader an understanding of the types of buildings that are in the district and their integrity.

    The board had the following comments:

    • Radcliff and others agreed with Arnold’s comments that the report and process followed by the study committee do not follow the PA169 requirements and that the report should include discussion of the Native American site discovered in the Stone Street area.
    • Anderson suggests that the extent of archaeology in the neighborhood is unknown since sites were accidentally found during the excavation of basements for several houses and this resulted in the work being stopped.
    • Arnold notes that to date eighty-eight burials have been recovered.
    • Harms said he would make a list of issues for a letter that will go to the City of Flint communicating that the national criteria have not been used and that the report does not meet the PA169.

    Motion for Chairperson Harms to Write Letter to the City of Flint stating the Review Board’s views of the deficiencies of the study committee report and process followed in preparing it:

    Moved for Approval: Radcliff
    Seconded: Baker
    Vote: 8-0
    (This letter not written since Harms was replaced as a member of the board soon afterwards.)

  • Proposed Jam Handy/North End-East Grand Boulevard Historic District, Detroit
  • Brewster-Wheeler Recreation Center Historic District, Detroit
  • Redford Branch-Detroit Public Library Historic District, Detroit
  • United Sound System Recording Studios Historic District Detroit

    The board had no additional comments on these four study committee reports.

Appeals/Annual Resolution - Scott Grammer 
Authorizations for the Housekeeping Matters
Grammer requested the board to provide a resolution covering calendar year 2015 authorizing Harms as Board Chairperson to sign on behalf of the Board Final Decision and Order documents and to authorize Grammer to dismiss administrative appeals.

Signature Authority for the Chairperson
Moved for Approval:  Staley
Seconded:  Ligibel
Vote:  8-0

Counsel Signature Authority for dismissals
Moved for Approval:  Staley
Seconded:  Ligibel
Vote:  8-0


Dates of Next Meeting
May 8, 2015, September 11, 2015, January 15, 2016

Ligibel moved adjournment
Staley supported the motion
Vote: 8-0

Meeting adjourned at 11:39 a.m.

Prepared by Bethany Berdes