State Historic Preservation Review Board Minutes May 10, 2010



May 10, 2010, 10:00 A.M.




Janese Chapman, Lynn Evans, Richard Harms, Elisabeth Knibbe, Ted Ligibel, Carolyn Loeb, Jennifer Radcliff, Ron Staley


Scott Beld


Amy Arnold, Laura Ashlee, Bob Christensen, Brian Conway, Mollie Douglas, Scott Grammer, Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock, Andrew Haan, John Halsey, Martha MacFarlane- Faes, Diane Tuinstra, Todd Walsh


Timothy Boscarino, concerning Detroit Public Schools Multiple Property Nomination Joseph Burreighs, concerning Glenwood Cemetery

Deborah Goldstein, concerning Detroit Public Schools Multiple Property Nomination Nancy Finegood, concerning Detroit Public Schools Multiple Property Nomination

Chris Frost, concerning Fourth & Fifth Avenues Historic District, and Prudence C. Spink v Ann Arbor Historic District Commission

Kevin McDonald, concerning Prudence C. Spink v. Ann Arbor Historic District Commission

Pat Meyer, concerning Cobbs & Mitchell Building

Karen Nagher, concerning Detroit Public Schools Multiple Property Nomination Gary Scheurer

List of members of public in attendance includes three names written illegibly.

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


Chapman moved approval of agenda. Evans supported Chapman’s motion. Vote: 7-0


Radcliff moved approval of the minutes of the January 15, 2010 meeting.

Staley supported Radcliff’s motion. Vote: 7-0

-- Knibbe arrive at 10:14 a. m.


Brian Conway, State Historic Preservation Office

Staff changes: Nick Bozen has returned from medical leave, Scott Grammer is now employed by the SHPO, Mollie Douglas and Jessica Williams have recently been hired by the SHPO as part of the Weatherization Assistance Program.

Conway introduced the Executive Director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Keith Molin.

Molin stated that the mission of MSHDA has evolved from building houses to building communities, and historic preservation is a part of strong communities.

Andrew Haan and Nathan Nietering, students at Eastern Michigan University, are working with the SHPO as student assistants.

Wednesday, May 5, was the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation ceremony. The year’s ceremony featured the largest number of state legislators in attendance. Six projects were honored with an award: Pointe Betsie Lighthouse, Grand Rapids Water Filtration Plant, Witherbees Market, Fort Shelby Hotel, Argonaut Building, and the Window Rehabilitation Workshop conducted in partnership with the city of Kalamazoo, and the Michigan Historic Preservation Workshop. Ceremonies will also be held in several of the award winner’s communities.

The SHPO has a new logo.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded the SHPO a $700,000 grant to upgrade the historic site database and create a Geographic Information System (GIS). Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock has been working towards this for several years.

The Special Consideration Tax Credits were awarded to the former United States Postal Service building in Grand Rapids, and to the Knapp’s Building in Lansing.

The first round of 2010 Enhanced Historic Preservation Tax Credit applications are currently undergoing review.

The SHPO has seen an eighteen-fold increase (2007-2010) in the number of projects being reviewed under Section 106 due to stimulus funds activities. >A programmatic agreement has been completed with the Department of Energy and the Department of Human Services to streamline the implementation of Section 106 reviews being undertaken with Weatherization Assistance Program funds.

SHPO is working closely with MSHDA to streamline reviews for Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) projects.

The Request for Proposal for the Michigan Modern project is scheduled to be released next week.

Eight Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program grant awards will be awarded. The lighthouses are: Cheboygan River Front Range, Fort Gratiot, Grand Traverse lighthouse, Gull Rock Lighthouse, Little Sable Point, Old Mission Point, Pointe Aux Barques, and Whitefish Point.

The MHPN conference is May 12-16.

The Michigan Lighthouse Alliance conference is in Traverse City on June 14-17.

The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions annual meeting will be held in Grand Rapids at the end of July.

The National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers quarterly board meeting will also be held at the end of July. Conway has been asked to plan a tour for the NCSHPO group, and is planning a Michigan Modern-themed tour, as well as a tour of West Michigan points of interest.

John Halsey, State Archaeologist

On April 2, 2010, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) issued comments concerning the construction of the Cape Wind Energy Project on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts. The project consists of 130 400-feet high wind turbines in a 25-square mile section of Nantucket Sound. The project will result in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 700,000 tons annually. The ACHP found that many historic properties would be adversely affected (“34 historic properties including 16 historic districts and 12 individually significant sites on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island, and six properties of religious and cultural significance to tribes”). The ACHP also found that negative affects would be both direct and indirect, cannot be avoided, and cannot be satisfactorily mitigated. On April 29, 2010, the United States Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced that the Cape Wind Energy Project had received approval. The repercussions of this decision will be noticed beyond the Cape. The State of Michigan is currently involved in a planning process to determine what would be necessary to construct similar wind projects in the Great Lakes. Objections to such projects are similar to those raised in the Cape Wind project.

Researchers from the University of Michigan believe they have found evidence of early caribou hunters on a ridge in Lake Huron. To date, no artifacts have been found. Research is continuing, and divers will survey the site at a later date.


Site: Glenwood Cemetery
Presented By: Christensen
Moved for Approval: Ligibel
Support: Loeb Vote: 8-0
Criteria: C; consideration: d
Level of Significance: State
Radcliff asked if the Platte River had been channeled through the area, or if it was a naturally occurring feature. Ligibel asked if the lack of non-contributing buildings was accurate. Christensen stated that he found none in his analysis of the cemetery.

Site: Charles G. Janson Garage
Presented By: Christensen
Moved for Approval: Knibbe
Support: Chapman
Vote: 8-0
Criteria: A, B
Level of Significance: Local
Ligibel asked if there was a state-wide context on early automobile dealerships. Christensen replied that there certainly was no such document. Ligibel also asked about the use of the term façade. He stated that students in the Eastern Michigan University historic preservation program are trained to use façade only in terms of the main, front-facing elevation of a building. Knibbe replied that, in architectural terms, façade refers to any face of a building. Conway concurred with Knibbe’s response.

Site: Cobbs & Mitchell Building
Presented By: MacFarlane-Faes
Moved for Approval: Evans
Support: Knibbe
Vote: 8-0 Criteria: A, B, C
Level of Significance: State
Harms asked if the nomination should be nominated at the state-level significance. MacFarlane-Faes replied that the nomination, as written, notes local-level significance. Conway stated that the building should be listed at the state-level. Harms stated that Cadillac was not a lumber “capital.” Muskegon produced more lumber than Cadillac, and Bay City and Saginaw produced even more lumber than Muskegon. Harms further noted that Cadillac was not even the capital of hardwood lumbering, and that the pine supply was not exhausted, rather the remaining supply was not reachable in an economically feasible manner. Christensen, replying to the question of state or local-level significance, noted that it is hard to find a comparison as the company itself was similar to many such companies around the state, though the building itself seemed to warrant state-level significance. Harms replied that, in terms of hardwood lumber industry, this building is likely the foremost building in the state. Radcliff added that the story of lumber is a state story, with the implications of the industry reaching throughout the state. Ligibel noted that the nomination notes that the period of significance ends in 1969. Christensen replied that he must have an earlier draft of the nomination as it was corrected and resent. Ligibel asked if tourism planning was key to this building. Meyer replied that one of the goals of MDOT was to open up MI-131 and the northern Lower Peninsula for residents in the southern Lower Peninsula. Halsey asked why the period of state ownership is not considered significant. Christensen replied that state ownership was addressed in the nomination, and that information could not be located that would suggest any significant activities had taken place in the building. Harms stated that it would be worth mentioning in the nomination that this building was central to the effort of the state to transition economy of the region to a tourism-based economy.

Site: Odd Fellows Valley Lodge No. 189 Building
Presented By: Douglas
Moved for Approval:
Staley Support: Chapman
Vote: 8-0
Criteria: A, B, C
Level of Significance: Local
Evans asked if the site was being nominated under criteria A, B, and C, or just B and C. Christensen confirmed A, B, and C. Radcliff asked if there was a local historic district where the building was located. Walsh and Conway replied that, to their knowledge, there was not.

Site: USS LST-393
Presented By: Grevstad-Nordbrock
Moved for Approval: Chapman
Support: Radcliff Vote: 8-0
Criteria: National
Level of Significance: A, C
Harms noted that the owner of the USS LST-393 has objected to the listing of the vessel in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Conway noted that responsibility of the Board is to either recommend or not recommend listing, and the Keeper of the NRHP will determine eligibility, and in the meantime the SHPO will try to contact owner and attempt to assuage any concerns they may have regarding listing in the NRHP. Ligibel asked about the usage of the word “holed” in the context of the condition of a flag on page six in the nomination. Ligibel also noted that the ending of the nomination should be focused on the role of the ship in winning the war, and not on the number of soldiers, sailors, and marines killed during the war.

--The Board decided to hear the Detroit Public Schools nomination after hearing the Local Historic District Commission Appeals in order to allow Knibbe to have input on the decisions prior to leaving.


Appeal: John Porsondeck v. Saugatuck Historic District Commission
Motion: Knibbe motioned to reject the Proposal for Decision, and to uphold the decision of the Saugatuck Historic District Commission.
Support: Radcliff
Vote: 8-0
Loeb asked if any alternatives were offered by the Saugatuck Historic District Commission (SHDC). Grammer replied that no alternatives were offered. Bozen asked if the local ordinance requiring action by the property owner within one year after receiving approval was quoted in the PFD. Grammer replied that it was not noted. Knibbe asked for clarification whether certain portions of work undertaken on the property were actually approved.

Appeal: Fred & Kathryn Dunn v. Rochester Hills Historic District Commission
Motion: Knibbe motioned to affirm the Proposal for Decision, and to uphold the decision by the Rochester Hills Historic District Commission.
Support: Chapman
Vote: 8-0

Appeal: Prudence C. Spink v. Ann Arbor Historic District Commission
Motion: Knibbe motioned to uphold the decision of the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission provided the existing windows are in original wooden track without added hardware and the wood is not rotted.
Support: Ligibel Vote: 8-0
Knibbe stated that the Administrative Law Judge misinterpreted the Board’s comments in a previous case, which indicated that the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards should be implemented in a flexible manner. Knibbe added that the idea of using a percentage to determine flexibility is not what the Board intended. Knibbe further stated that the central question in this case is whether the windows in question were original or not, and if not, are they substantially different from the other windows in the house. Knibbe opined that the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission is trying to take a nuanced and flexible approach to determining if materials are appropriate. Radcliff stated that she thought that materials used in the construction of a house are on a continuum and that some materials may not be original, but are still historic.

-- Continuation of National Register of Historic Places nominations

Site: Detroit Public Schools Presented By: Boscarino
Moved for Approval: see Attachment A Support: see Attachment A
Vote: see Attachment A Criteria: see Attachment A
Level of Significance: see Attachment A

Harms asked if “city historian” is an official city position. Goldstein and Chapman replied that it is. Knibbe expressed concern for the number of buildings constructed near the end of the period of significance, and stated that the buildings should be truly significant, and not just a representative example, to be designated.  The Board decided that they would here a quick summary of the building, its related criteria, and the level of significance, then a vote on each building would be held.  Discussion would be saved for the end of the presentation. Knibbe asked if a map was available.  Radcliff observed that there were a number of buildings not on this list. Chapman replied that all of the buildings were inventoried, but some were not included due to lack of integrity.  Chapman abstained from all voting for the Detroit Public School Multiple Property Nomination and all individual nominations.  Ligibel expressed appreciation for the work that went into producing the nominations, and for the completeness of the information contained therein.


Keppel’s Village Historic District, Holland
The Board made no additional comment.

Stauch Family House, Royal Oak
The Board made no additional comment.

Fourth & Fifth Avenues Historic District, Ann Arbor
The Board made no additional comment.

Owosso Downtown Historic District, Owosso
The Board made no additional comment.

Mechanic Street Historic District, Jackson
The Board made no additional comment.


January 21, 2011


Staley motioned to adjourn X supported Staley’s motion

Vote: 8-0, adjournment at 1:42 p. m.