Michigan State Historic Preservation Review Board Meeting Minutes, May 18, 2012

Minutes Of The

State Historic Preservation Review Board Meeting

May 18, 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, Lynn Evans, Richard Harms, Elisabeth Knibbe, Ted Ligibel, Carolyn Loeb, Jennifer Radcliff

Board Members Absent
Ron Staley, Janese Chapman

Staff Members Present
Bob Christensen, Brian Conway, Amy Arnold, Laura Ashlee, Mollie Douglas, Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock, Jessica Puff, Katie Hardcastle, Scott Slagor, Stacy Tchorsynski, Susan Sheppard, Bethany Berdes, Dean Anderson

Members of the Public Present
Jamie Davidson (Eaton Rapids), Marilyn Stenberg (Eaton Rapids), Rebecca Savage (Hamtramck), Elaine Robinson (Bay City), Steve Platte (Eaton Rapids), Faye Smith (Bay City), Scott Bell, Nancy Finegood (MHPN), Kristine Kidorf

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

Approval of Agenda
Loeb moved approval of agenda
Radcliff supported the motion
Vote: 6-0

Approval of Minutes
Evans moved approval of the minutes, as amended
Loeb supported the motion
Vote: 6-0

There is one change to the draft minutes from the January 20, 2012 Review Board Meeting.  The motion to adjourn was made by Radcliff and not Harms.

Knibbe arrived at 10:07am

Staff Reports - Brian Conway


  • Scott Slagor is a new Student Assistant.
  • Jessica Puff just graduated but we will keep her on staff through December 2012.
  • Kristin McGowan is a new Student Assistant and she splits her time between MSHDA and the SHPO and she will be with the SHPO through the summer.
  • Jessica Williams had a baby on May 1, 2012 and Mollie Olinyk is due soon.


  • Brian Conway organized a Preservation Seminar the day before SAH Conference began.
  • MSHDA was a major sponsor at the MHPN conference that was held in Flint.
  • Conway went to the Randolph Vocational School in Detroit for their end of the year event where the students receive their certificates for completing their training.

Proposals and Contracts

  • We issued an RFP for 3 national register nominations for downtown historic districts, Escanaba, Owosso and Alma.  DDE & E will do Escanaba.  CCRG will do Owosso and Alma.
  • The SHPO has entered into a contract with Cranbrook to put on a Michigan Modern exhibition and symposium in June 2013.  We have hired the consultants, Lord Aeck & Sargent.  We will be entering into a contract with Monica Ponce de Leon Studios.  She is Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture at The University of Michigan.  She has a national reputation and has been involved with other exhibitions throughout the world.
  • The SHPO has a contractor doing a NHL nomination for GM Tech Center in Warren.
  • The SHPO just announced a contract with Quinn Evans Architects to do a NHL nomination for The McGregor Center at Wayne State University.
  • The SHPO has put out a request for proposal to hire a consultant to do a NHL for Lafayette Park in Detroit.
  • The SHPO has put out a request for proposal to hire a consultant to do a NHL for St. Frances de Sales Church in Muskegon.
  • We issued a request for proposal to hire a consultant to do a Cultural Resource Management Plan for Highland Park Ford Plant.
  • The SHPO will be doing an architectural and historical survey in the City of Detroit.  The SHPO received four proposals and can't announce the selection yet.
  • The SHPO received approval for another RFP to complete a Cultural Resource Management Plan and re-use feasibility study for the Gunnar Birkerts designed buildings in the Bald Mountain Recreation Area in Oakland County.  The DNR plans to demolish the buildings but are holding off on demolition as of right now.
  • We are looking to trademark our Michigan Modern logo as well as the name.

Staff Reports - Dean Anderson


  • Yann and Stacy were nominated and accepted as members of COMA at the last meeting
  • Dean, Stacy and Jessica attended the Annual Michigan Archaeological Society meeting.
  • Yann is at field school for a few weeks in Illinois this Summer.
  • Archaeology Day is October 6, 2012. The SHPO did a speaker series last year.
  • The SHPO has begun discussions with MHPN for the conference in Marquette next May.
  • The SHPO continues to collaborate with MDOT over the M-231 project in Ottawa County.  Most of the archaeological excavation was finished in 2011 and MDOT is continuing to work on the project but its winding down.

National Register Nominations

Site:  Island City Historic District, Eaton Rapids, Eaton County
Presented by:  Ted Ligibel
Moved for Approval: Knibbe  
Seconded:  Loeb
Vote:  6-0, Ligibel abstaining
Criteria:  A and C with exception A
Level of Significance: Local

Site:  Upper Twin Falls Bridge, Breitung Township, Dickinson County, and Town of Florence, Florence County, WI
Presented by:  Robert Christensen
Moved for Approval:  Radcliff
Seconded:  Evans
Vote:  7-0
Criteria:  C
Level of Significance:  State

Bob Christensen will be going to the Wisconsin Review Board meeting in August since this is a joint nomination between Wisconsin and Michigan.

Site:  United States Coast Guard Cutter Bramble, Port Huron, St. Clair County
Presented by:  Jon Ottman
Moved for Approval:  Ligibel
Seconded:  Radcliff
Vote:  7-0
Criteria:  A, C
Level of Significance:  National

Site:  J.J. Deal and Son Carriage Factory, Jonesville, Hillsdale County
Presented by:  Kristine Kidorf
Moved for Approval:  Evans
Seconded:  Knibbe
Vote:  7-0
Criteria:  C
Level of Significance:  Local

Site:  Center Avenue Neighborhood Historic District (Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation), Bay City, Bay County
Presented by:  Elaine Robinson
Moved for Approval:  Radcliff
Seconded:  Ligibel
Vote:  7-0
Criteria:  A, B and C with Exception A
Level of Significance:  Local

Site:  Jos. Campau Street Historic District, Hamtramck, Wayne County
Presented by:  Rebecca Binno Savage
Moved for Approval:  Evans
Seconded:  Knibbe
Vote:  7-0
Criteria:  A and C
Level of Significance:  Local

Site:  Grand Circus Park Historic District (Additional Documentation), Detroit, Wayne County
Presented by:  Rebecca Binno Savage

Knibbe expressed concern that by labeling as contributing the renovations done during the proposed extension to the period of significance, 1930-65, we would be hamstringing future development activities that sought to restore lower facades remodeled during that time period to their original designs. She said that the 1930-65-period renovations were often out of keeping with the buildings' original character, and restoring them to their original appearance or replacing them with a contemporary design was often appropriate and beneficial. Conway stated his view that renovations that meet the fifty-year time test typically have acquired a significance of their own and should be considered contributing. Knibbe wanted to table the nomination until the next meeting. She wanted the board to be able to see images of the buildings whose renovations were being presented as contributing. 

Knibbe moved to table the nomination until the next review board meeting.  Radcliff seconded the motion.  Motion approved 7-0.

Historic District Study Committee Reports – Amy Arnold

James H. Cole Home for Funerals Historic District, Detroit
The James H. Cole Home for Funerals is located at 2624 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit.  The business was established in 1919 by James Cole III, the grandson of a former slave who had made his way to Detroit in 1856 and became a prosperous businessmen, to meet the needs of Detroit's African American community. The building being proposed for designation was purchased after 1962.
Arnold stated that it is unclear from this report what the significance of this building is.  The National Register criteria state that A property is not eligible if its only justification for significance is that it was owned or used by a person who is a member of an identifiable profession, class, or ethnic group. It must be shown that the person gained importance within his or her profession or group."  It is possible that this building is significant if, for example, it can be associated with events related to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. As written, we do not think it makes its case.
The board had no additional comments.

Bushnell Congregational Church Historic District, Detroit
The proposed Bushnell Congregational Church Historic District is located at 15000 Southfield Freeway in Detroit. The Colonial Revival style church, designed by the Detroit architecture firm Herman & Simons, opened in 1939. In the 1950s, the church housed one of the largest Congregational memberships in the country.
Arnold stated that the report meets the requirements.  The board had no additional comments.

De-Listing of 4820 Livernois Historic District, Troy
The city of Troy has submitted a report to de list a single resource district located at 4820 Livernois. Known as the Gregory-Belz House the property the wood frame house built c. 1880 was designated a local district in 1986. 

Arnold stated that the report contains no support documentation that would back up the reasons for delisting the resource.  The board had no additional comments.

Appeals/Annual Resolutions – Scott Grammer

Dates of Next Meeting
September 14, 2012; January 25, 2013

Loeb moved adjournment
Evans supported the motion
Vote 7-0
Meeting adjourned at 12:36pm

Prepared by Bethany Berdes