Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board Meeting Minutes, January 20, 2012


Minutes of
The State Historic Preservation
Review Board Meeting
January 20, 2012, 10:00 A.M.
Conference Rooms 235-335, Michigan State Housing Development Authority
735 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan

Board Members Present
Scott Beld, Janese Chapman, Lynn Evans, Richard Harms, Elisabeth Knibbe, Ted Ligibel, Carolyn Loeb, Jennifer Radcliff

Board Members Absent
Ron Staley

Staff Members Present
Dean Anderson, Amy Arnold, Laura Ashlee, Bob Christensen, Brian Conway, Mollie Douglas, Scott Grammer, Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock, Martha MacFarlane-Faes, Diane Tuinstra, Todd Walsh, Jessica Williams, Jessica Puff, Katie Hardcastle, Stacy Tchorskynski, Susan Sheppard, Bethany Berdes

Members of the Public Present
Lisa Gamero concerning Eagle Harbor Boathouse and Copper Harbor Light Station; Gary Gillette concerning Hamtramck Stadium, Ian Perrotta concerning Hamtramck Stadium, Rebecca Binno Savage, concerning Hamtramck Stadium; Janine Saputo concerning Oakland Township study committee reports, Barb Barber, Oakland Township, Jean Kroger concerning Oakland Township, Sue Fox concerning Oakland Township; Nancy Finegood (MHPN)

Harms called the meeting to order at 10:04 a. m.

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

Election of Vice-Chair
Harms as nominating committee nominated Loeb as Vice-Chairperson of the State Historic Preservation Review Board.
Evans moved the election of Loeb as Vice-Chairperson and Beld seconded the motion.
Vote: 8-0

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

Staff Reports
Tax Credit Program
The State Tax Credit Program ended on December 31st. The SHPO was overwhelmed by the number of projects submitted at the last minute. The SHPO received 3 times the number of applications compared to the year before. The SHPO assigned 7 people to handle the year-end load of project reviews. They were Robb McKay, Bryan Lijewski, Dan Schneider, Jessica Williams, Mollie Olinyk, Jessica Puff, and Katie Hardcastle.

Review Board Reappointment
Knibbe and Staley have been reappointed to the Review Board for 3 year terms.

New Staff
Stacy Tchorzynski has been hired as the new archaeologist.
Katie Hardcastle is the new Student Assistant.
Also, contracts for two limited-term employees, Mollie Olinyk and Jessica Williams, expire in March but their positions have been renewed. Brian Conway is working on making these two positions permanent. Mollie Olinyk is now working out of the Detroit office two to three days a week. Bernie Johnston requested that we have 2 positions in Detroit.

Section 106 Training
The SHPO had a very successful training class in November 2011.  The class could only accommodate 30 people and we had more than twice as many apply to attend. The SHPO is going to hold another training session in the Spring.

Governor's awards - Laura Ashlee

Keweenaw National Historical Park, Quinn Evans Architects, Yalmer Matilla Contracting, Inc., and the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Union Building, Calumet

  • The Union Building is a prominent building in downtown Calumet, one of our Main Street communities.
  • Keweenaw National Historical Park acquired the building in 1999 when the building was in disrepair.
  • From 2006 through 2011 the park embarked on a phased rehabilitation of the building for use as a visitor center.
  • NPS worked closely with Bryan Lijewski on the rehabilitation, which included a new roof, masonry repairs, storefront and window restoration and the replication of missing architectural elements. In addition, the project included the installation of exhibits about the history of Calumet and the copper country.
  • Throughout the process the park sought public input. Local residents have donated photographs and other artifacts for display in the visitor center.
  • In October 2011 the visitor center opened with much fanfare and several hundred people in attendance.

Swanee Incorporated and Barry Polzin Architects for the rehabilitation of the Richter Brewery, Escanaba

  • Matt and Beth Sviland bought the Richter Brewery in 2008. They recognized the need to save one of Escanaba's most unique buildings, and one that stands prominently at the western entrance to the downtown business district. The rehabilitation converted the brewery into fifteen loft apartments and three commercial units.
  • The Svilands cashed in IRAs, remortgaged their home, and used a variety of incentives - including brownfield and federal and enhanced state historic preservation tax credits - to make the project happen.
  • They contracted with excellent companies for replacement wood windows and to remove the baby blue cement-like coating from the storefronts.
  • The project represents a $4 million investment in Escanaba. The city manager, James O'Toole, believes it has and will inspire additional investment in Escanaba.

G. A. Haan Development, UP Engineers and Architects and Oakwood Construction for the Rehabilitation of the Adams and Masonic Temple Buildings, Sault Ste. Marie.

  • These buildings stand at a major intersection three blocks south of the Soo Locks. The buildings were derelict and presented a negative image to the many visitors to Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Harbor Springs developer G. A. Haan, who typically undertakes new construction, decided to convert the building into mixed use, including low income housing.
  • Haan pulled together a complex package of financing including Federal and State Historic Preservation Tax Credits, Brownfield, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
  • Park Place City Center as it is now known represents $7.1 million in investment in Sault Ste. Marie. The housing units now have families living in them, which has encouraged new businesses in the area.

City of Boyne City, Richard Neumann Architect, Graham Construction, and c2ae, for the Rehabilitation of the Boyne City 1910 Waterworks Building, Boyne City

  • By rehabilitating the Boyne City 1910 Waterworks, the City of Boyne City took a community landmark that had been unused for 30 years and returned it to public service.
  • Some people thought the building was beyond repair; in fact it came close to being demolished. The city chose to keep the building, however.
  • The SHPO awarded a Certified Local Government grant to the project.
  • The city returned it to its original role as part of the community's water system. The crumbling interior had to be gutted and the building required extensive masonry repairs.
  • The roof, windows, doors, flooring, tin ceiling, and fixtures were all replaced with period appropriate items. The original hardwood flooring was salvaged, refinished, and reinstalled.
  • After three decades of neglect, the building is now a water booster station for Boyne City's water system and is serving the community once again.
  • Lt. Governor Brian Calley joined Boyne City citizens in July 2011 when the building was rededicated.

Eastside Armory LLC, Studio Intrigue Architects, and Kincaid Henry Building Group for the Rehabilitation of the Lansing Artillery National Guard Armory

  • The armory served Lansing-based units of the Michigan National Guard from 1924 to 2005. Although the state provided some security and maintenance for the building, its vacant status was of concern to the neighborhood and its future was uncertain.
  • Developer Pat Gillespie of the Gillespie Group grew up on Lansing's east side and knew the property well. The Gillespie Group, who mostly undertake new development, acquired the building and rehabilitated it as office space for nonprofit organizations.
  • The Eastside Armory LLC used Federal and State Historic Preservation Tax Credits and Brownfield tax credits to rehabilitate the structure. The project represents a $5 million investment in Lansing.
  • The neighborhood group and the nonprofits are thrilled with the results of this project.

Michigan State Medical Society for the Long-Term Preservation of the Michigan State Medical Society Building, East Lansing

  • Excellent rehabilitation is a wonderful thing, but the best preservation method for buildings is ongoing proper maintenance so that rehabilitation does not have to occur.
  • The Michigan State Medical Society has been the ideal steward of its building.
  • Designed by Minoru Yamasaki and completed in 1961, the Michigan State Medical Society Building remains virtually unchanged and in excellent condition.
  • The society has undergone changes in administration and staff, but throughout the fifty years of occupying its building, it has remained true to Yamasaki's design intent, even going so far as to consult with the original interior designer on every bit of work, no matter how seemingly insignificant.
  • Modern buildings are threatened by inappropriate changes, demolition, and a lack of understanding or appreciation for their significance. We feel it is important to recognize the society for its excellent stewardship.

Ligibel asked if part of the criteria is to be designated in some way.  Ashlee said that they do not have to be designated to be considered but they do have to be involved with our office in some way (the current candidate buildings are all listed in the National Register). Radcliff moved approval of the list of Governor's Award candidates and Loeb supported the motion.  Vote: 7-0 with one abstention by Knibbe. 

The Governor's Awards Ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 2, 2012.

National Register Nominations
Site: Hamtramck Stadium, Hamtramck, Wayne County
Presented by:  Gary Gillette
Moved for Approval:  Knibbe moved for approval with the requirement that the boundaries be drawn to include access points and the entire area occupied by the stadium and the outfield.
Seconded: Chapman
Vote: 8-0
Criteria: A and B
Level of Significance: National

Site: Warren Township District No. 4 School, Warren, Macomb County
Presented by: Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval: Ligibel
Seconded: Loeb
Vote: 8-0
Criteria: A and C
Level of Significance:  Local

Site: St. Peter Cathedral, Marquette, Marquette County
Presented by: Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval: Evans
Seconded: Chapman
Vote: 8-0
Criteria: A and C
Level of Significance: State

Site: Eagle Harbor Coast Guard Station Boathouse, Eagle Harbor Township, Mackinac County
Presented by: Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval:  Radcliff
Seconded: Loeb
Vote: 8-0
Criteria: A and C
Level of Significance: National

Site: Copper Harbor Light Station, Grant Township, Keweenaw County
Presented by: Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval: Radcliff
Seconded: Chapman
Vote: 8-0
Criteria: A and C
Level of Significance: State

Historic District Study Committee Reports - Amy Arnold

Wolverine Knitting Mills is located at 114 N. Jackson Street in Bay City.  The three story brick building was built in 1891 as a scrap storage facility. It was converted to a knitting mill in 1912 when the city was diversifying its economy as the lumber industry withdrew.

  • The report should reflect that there are two periods of significance for the resource: as a storage facility and a knitting mill.
  • The justification for Criterion A is weak. Just changing a business due to economic downturn would not meet this criteria.

The board had no additional comments.

Lind Brothers Dry Goods and Groceries is located at 100 State Street in Bay City.  Built in 1877 the building was constructed by Peter Lind, a civic and political leader in Bay City.

  • We don't think the building qualifies individually for the NR.  It has been too comprised physically and is not directly related to any of the significant civic activities undertaken by Peter Lind.

The board had no additional comments.

Midland Street Historic District in Bay City is roughly bounded by Wenona, Vermont, East John St.  The district consists of 59 commercial buildings constructed between 1868 and 1912. The area, founded in 1847, was originally known as West Bay City and merged with the city of Bay City in 1905.  The district was listed in the National Register in 1982.

  • The boundaries for the local district of this name will differ from those of the already existing National Register - the local district will include resources to the west of the National Register one.  This must be explained in the boundary justification.
  • The period of significance needs to be defined.

The board made no additional comments.

Center Avenue Local Historic District in Bay City is a major expansion of an existing district that runs along Center Avenue.  The district with its new boundaries will include 948 resources, mostly residences in a wide range of styles from High Style Queen Anne and NeoClassical to more vernacular Tudor Revival, Bungalows, and Art Moderne.  The district also includes a number of pre-cut homes from the Aladdin Company, a major Bay City industry, Gothic Revival churches, a library, parks, and an Art Deco school by Joseph Goodeyne, and modern homes by Alden Dow and local architect Victor Nurmi.

  • Due to the sheer volume of information for this large district, the report seems to have lost its way.  The report reads like an architectural style guide.  It would have been better to do an analysis of the styles and property types in the district so that the significance of individual resources can be judged within their context. 
  • The report contains no condition assessment of the historic parks and does not define or describe their significant features.
  • The report should do a better job of highlighting the most significant people associated with the district and telling their story.  Not every company vice-president is significant.
  • The historic resource count should include significant features such as street lamps.
  • The significance statements are vague.

The board made no additional comments.

Franklin Wright Settlements comprise two buildings located at 3360 Charlevoix and 4141 Mitchell Avenue in Detroit.  The Settlement Movement worked to improve the lives of the working class and immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Franklin Settlement Building was constructed in 1930 through a donation by the Edsel Fords, and the Sophie Wright Settlement purchased the former Michigan State Telephone Company Building in 1923. The two organizations merged in 1967.

  • Written description should reflect current conditions.

The board made no additional comments.

George Historic District is located on Rochester Road in Oakland Township. The farmstead was built by William George who manufactured fireproof glaze tiles used for silos throughout the township.  The farmstead includes a frame farmhouse built in 1909, a 1923 carriage house, and a tile silo.

  • The context information is inadequate. There is no information about the George Family or the silo tile business.
  • The farmhouse has undergone numerous additions and changes over the years.  The report needs to describe the changes and when they occurred.
  • Maps are not adequate.

The board made no additional comments.

Decker-Beatty Historic District is located at 4014 Orion Rd in Oakland Township. Built original as a log hall and parlor structure in the 1830s, but only the log floor framing remains in what is today a wing of the main house, which is a saltbox built in the 1880s.

  • The history in the report is unclear. The report focuses on pre-1861 owners but the extant house was built in the 1880s.  There is little information on the post 1880 history of the house.
  • The significance statement justifications are not adequate and do not show how the extant resource directly relates to the significance identified.

The board made no additional comments.

Van Riper Property is located at 3821 West Milham Avenue in Portage.  This report is to modify the current district by splitting off 3 parcels equaling 1.5 acres from the southern edge of the district.  The district is comprised of 22.5 acres with a brick farmhouse and outbuildings.

  • The house is shielded by a row of oak trees planted by Mr. Van Riper but the report needs to address how subdividing the lots will affect the tree row and setting and feeling of the property.
  • The photographs need to be keyed to the map.
  • The SHPO needs a description of the proposed boundaries and a better map.

The board made no additional comments.

Appeals/Annual Resolutions - Scott Grammer 
Grammer said that there have only been three or four that have come through the SHPO and they haven't gone anywhere as of yet.  He said there will be three or four appeals at the next Review Board meeting. 
Grammer requested the board to provide a resolution covering calendar year 2012 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.

Knibbe moves that the Chair be authorized to sign decisions on appeal on behalf of the board and that counsel be authorized to sign dismissals, Ligibel supports.

Vote:  8-0

Dates of Next Meeting 
May 18, 2012; September 14, 2012

Radcliff moved adjournment
Evans supported the motion
Vote 8-0
Meeting adjourned at 12:30pm

Prepared by Bethany Berdes