Five major historic preservation projects honored with Governor's Awards

Michigan’s Capitol Rotunda provides perfect backdrop for standing-room-only celebration

Misty Elliott
MSHDA Communications

May 6, 2015

LANSING, Mich.— The 2015 Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation were presented in the Capitol Rotunda by State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway, Steve Arwood, director of the Department of Talent and Economic Development and Kevin Elsenheimer, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

“May is National Historic Preservation Month,” Conway said. “Throughout the country people are recognizing how important historic buildings and archaeological sites are to our understanding of the past. Each year we take on the difficult task of recognizing only a handful of the many worthy preservation projects that occur in Michigan.”

This year’s award-winning projects dot the landscape from the Upper Peninsula to Southeast Michigan and points in between, demonstrating a state-wide commitment to preserve our past for the future.

“The projects we recognized today demonstrate how historic resources and their preservation are vital to maintaining what makes Michigan unique,” Arwood said. “The 23 organizations and individuals that were honored this year represent all of the many people involved in historic preservation throughout the state.”

It’s only fitting that the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation were presented in the heart of the state’s most important historic building, the 136-year-old Capitol rotunda. The Capitol was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1992 after extensive restoration, widely honored for its authenticity.

“I saw historic preservation work first-hand in my district when I was in the legislature,” said Elsenheimer, MSHDA’s new executive director and former state representative for the 105th district. “I strongly believe that preservation and restoration of historic structures and artifacts contributes greatly to Michigan’s distinct culture.”

The 2015 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation recipients are:

•    The Woda Group, Hooker DeJong Architects & Engineers, and the City of Menominee for the rehabilitation of Lloyd’s Department Store, Menominee

•    Michigan Department of Transportation, Grand Traverse 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 Resources Group, Inc. for the US-31/M-231 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. for the rehabilitation of the Bohm Theatre, Albion

•    Eyde Company, Quinn Evans Architects, and Granger Construction for the rehabilitation of the J. W. Knapp Company Building, Lansing

•    Roxbury Group; Trans Inns Management; Kraemer Design Group, PLC; and Walbridge for the rehabilitation of the David Whitney Building, Detroit

The State Historic Preservation Office at MSHDA initiated the awards program in 2003 to recognize outstanding historic preservation achievements that reflect a commitment to the preservation of Michigan’s unique character and the many archaeological sites and historic structures that document Michigan’s past.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is financed in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on its federally funded assistance programs.  If you believe you've been discriminated against please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C. St. NW, Washington DC 20240.

The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit