Indian Village, City of Detroit recognized for historic streetlight rehabilitation project

2016 Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation Announced

Misty Miller

MSHDA Communications

March 15, 2016

LANSING, MICH. – Detroit’s Public Lighting Authority and the Indian Village Historical Collections partnership to restore 57 original streetlights in the historic Indian Village neighborhood has earned state recognition.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer today announced six recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation.

“Each year we recognize the contributions of people who devote time, energy and money into preserving Michigan’s historic resources and archaeological sites,” Snyder said. “These sites are irreplaceable and are important to maintaining a sense of place and our authentic Michigan identity.”

The project involved removing and disassembling the existing streetlights, installed around 1910, then carefully restoring and reinstalling them on updated underground infrastructure.

"I am so proud of Indian Village residents for taking the initiative to preserve the historic streetlights through a grassroots fundraising effort when the Public Lighting Authority began its work to convert streetlights across the city,” said State Rep.Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “This community effort shows that community and government partnerships can be effective. Indian Village is a beautiful neighborhood and I am pleased that the historic streetlight effort is receiving this preservation award."

The streetlights are an integral part of the character of Indian Village, and they now serve their original purpose of illuminating the streets for pedestrians, drivers and to assist in crime prevention.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) at MSHDA initiated the Governor’s Awards 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. Previous recipient projects include rehabilitations of the Old Rugged Cross Church in Pokagon Township, the Richter Brewery in Escanaba, the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, and the archaeological investigations at Fort St. Joseph in Niles.

“We recognize partnerships, innovation, creativity and excellence with these awards,” said Elsenheimer. “Good historic preservation projects reflect a desire to connect the past with the future, they involve collaboration, and we are pleased to recognize 26 different organizations this year.”

The 2016 recipients are:

  • Mackinac Island State Park Commission for the ongoing archaeological investigation of Fort Michilimackinac

  • City of St. Joseph, Smay Trombley Architecture, Mihm Enterprises, the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, the Lighthouse Forever Fund and the Citizens of St. Joseph for the rehabilitation of the St. Joseph North Pier Inner and Outer Lights

  • Home Renewal Systems LLC, Quinn Evans Architects, and Wolverine Building Group for the rehabilitation of Fremont High School, Fremont

  • The Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan; Central Michigan University Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work; and the City of Mount Pleasant for the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School archaeological investigation

  • City of Dearborn; Artspace Projects, Inc.; Neumann/Smith Architecture; the Monahan Company; and the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority for the rehabilitation of Dearborn City Hall Complex

  • Indian Village Historical Collections, City of Detroit, Public Lighting Authority, DTE Energy, Offshore Spars, SS Stripping/CDS Performance Coatings, Corby Energy Services, and Consulting Engineering Associates and Wade Trim Joint Venture for the Indian Village Historic Streetlight Rehabilitation Project, Detroit

The awards will be presented at a public ceremony in the Michigan State Capitol Rotunda in May, which is National Historic Preservation Month.

To learn about previous Governor’s Award recipients go to, click on Special Projects and Governor’s Awards.

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