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Gilchrist Honors Historic Preservation Projects Across Michigan


May 5, 2022


Lt. Gov. Gilchrist II Honors Seven Historic Preservation Projects Across Michigan

Annual Governor’s Awards recognizes historic preservation achievements in Michigan

LANSING, Mich.Today, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce that seven Michigan preservation projects were awarded Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation during a ceremony hosted by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Communities represented  include Battle Creek, Bay City, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Leland, Manistee Township, and Ypsilanti.

“It’s an honor to recognize the recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. “These projects are the result of partners coming together and demonstrating the resiliency, tenacity, innovation, and long-term commitment to telling Michigan’s story that truly define our state and our residents. I’m excited that new projects like these will be enabled very soon with the launch of the next round of state historic tax credits.”

Now in its 19th year, the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation program, held annually during National Historic Preservation Month, was created by SHPO to celebrate 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 represent our rich past. This year’s event took place in the rotunda of the State Capitol Building in Lansing.

“Historic resources and archaeological sites tell us about the past and help us define Michigan’s unique identity. Their preservation is vital to Michigan’s present and future as they contribute to vibrant communities and our understanding of the past,” said Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Martha MacFarlane-Faes. “Each year during National Historic Preservation Month the Governor's Award program gives us an opportunity to recognize standout historic preservation efforts across the state, exemplifying the collaboration and deep impact preservation can have in Michigan communities. This year’s diverse group of awards has inspired additional preservation activity and economic investment, and illustrate projects that represent preservation best practices.”

The 2022 Governor’s Award recipients are listed below. For full details and videos of each project, visit here.

Orchard Beach State Park Shelter Building

Relocation and rehabilitation of the Orchard Beach State Park Shelter Building 

Manistee Township, Manistee County

Awardees: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation Division; Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, Design and Construction; Hallack Contracting; GEI Consultants Inc., Sanders & Czapski Associates, and Wolfe House Movers 

Moving an historic building is rarely a first choice, but sometimes conditions make such a decision necessary. The carefully coordinated dynamic approach to move the Orchard Beach State Park Shelter away from the receding Lake Michigan bluff embodies the progressive thinking needed to ensure humans and nature can coexist long into the future.

Rehabilitation of the Crapo Building into The Legacy

Rehabilitation of the Crapo Building into The Legacy 

Bay City, Bay County Awardees: 213 Development LLC; Quinn Evans Architects; and Spence Brothers Construction

The rehabilitation of the former Crapo Building into The Legacy allowed this prominent landmark to again contribute to the vitality of downtown Bay City. It also serves as home to new residents and is a striking example of Romanesque architecture.

 Rehabilitation of the Thompson Block 

Rehabilitation of the Thompson Block

Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County

Awardees: Original and Only Thompson Block LLC; Mitchell and Mouat Architects; and Kincaid Building Group

The rehabilitation of the Thompson Block required tenacity to overcome fire damage and other obstacles, bringing new residents and vibrancy to this Civil War-era landmark of the Depot Town neighborhood.

Collaborative effort to lift Fishtown

Collaborative effort to lift Fishtown

Leland, Leelanau County

Awardees: Fishtown Preservation Society, Inc.; Biggs Construction; Kasson Contracting; Team Elmer’s; Hopkins Burns Design Studio; and Laurie Sommers Cultural Consulting

Creative decision-making brought passionate partners together to protect Fishtown, Michigan’s only remaining traditional fishing village, from rapidly changing water levels, demonstrating the benefits of intentional preservation cooperation.

Rehabilitation of the Old-Merchants National Bank & Trust Building into The Milton 

Rehabilitation of the Old-Merchants National Bank & Trust Building into The Milton

Battle Creek, Calhoun County

Awardees: MDH Development LLC; The Christman Company; Integrated Architecture; and Architecture + Design Inc.

The rehabilitation of the Old-Merchants Bank and Trust Company building into The Milton allowed this Art Deco landmark to again contribute vitality to downtown Battle Creek, and exemplifies the possibilities of adaptive reuse of large historic structures.

 Alpha House

Long-term stewardship of the Alpha House

Detroit, Wayne County

Awardee: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Gamma Lambda Chapter

The Alpha House has been carefully maintained as an anchor of the community, earning the fraternity a Long-Term Stewardship award. The oldest chapter house in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the house has offered a place for gathering, learning, community service, and problem-solving since 1939.

Kalamazoo State Theatre 

Long-term stewardship of the Kalamazoo State Theatre

Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County

Awardees: Kalamazoo State Theatre; and The Hinman Company

The Kalamazoo State Theatre also earned a Long-Term Stewardship award. Strategic investment in the theater has created an important regional destination for entertainment and artistic programming while preserving the unique character-defining architecture of the original 1927 design. 

National Historic Preservation Month was established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help local preservation groups, historical societies, and communities promote historic places and heritage tourism and to demonstrate the social and economic benefits of historic preservation. This year’s award recipients spearheaded projects that saved special places, increased economic activity and continue to educate residents and visitors about Michigan’s history.

To learn more about the Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation program and explore prior year awards by region or by year on an interactive map, visit here