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Funding, Tax Incentives, Grants & Awards for Preservation Projects     

Funding, Tax Incentives, Grants & Awards for Preservation Projects
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Michigan Historic Preservation Network Names 2018 Historic Preservation Awards Honorees
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Contributed By: Michigan Historic Preservation Network
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The Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) is pleased to announce our 2018 Historic Preservation Awards honorees. Fourteen award winners from across Michigan were selected in six categories, including: Building, Citizen, Community, Preservation Gem, Tax Credit, and Lifetime Achievement. The awards ceremony is one of the
highlights of the 38th Annual MHPN Conference, ?Proactive Preservation.? A reception and awards presentation will be held Friday evening, May 18, 2018, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, East Lansing, Michigan.

The Building Award is presented to restoration or rehabilitation projects completed within the last three years. While many think of preservation as the multi-million-dollar restoration of large historic landmarks, preservation is not limited by size, location or cost. This year the MHPN is honoring five projects in the category:

The Foundation Hotel, Detroit. Built in 1929 as the Detroit Fire Department Headquarters, this building reopened in 2018 as the beautifully repurposed Foundation Hotel. On the exterior, the decorative terra cotta panels sporting firefighters, fire hydrants, and DFD shields were restored. The adaptive reuse of the first floor lobby and restaurant incorporated historic finishes and salvaged materials into a contemporary design that evokes the building?s history while looking ahead to its future.

General Motors Durant-Dort Factory One, Flint. This 1880 factory building was the home of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, the progenitor of General Motors. After the building changed hands several times and began sliding into disrepair, General Motors reacquired it in 2013 and set in motion a collaborative process to restore and rededicate it as a multifunctional space, including a self-contained archival facility and conference and event rooms. The revitalized factory pays homage to the city of Flint and its industrial heritage while providing space for future innovation.

United States Post Office Building, Plymouth. After the US Postal Service moved out of its 1935 building in downtown Plymouth for a smaller facility, the community feared the Depression-era structure would be demolished. Instead, a local family worked with business owners to repurpose the building, bringing a food market back to downtown for the first time in decades. The sensitively-restored post office with its WPA mural is once again a vital part of the Plymouth community.

The Strathmore Apartments, Detroit. Built in the Roaring Twenties, the Strathmore Hotel was one of Detroit?s elegant and desirable apartment hotels, which accommodated both transient and long-term residents. After the building closed in 2004, it sat vacant for a decade, succumbing to the elements. The carefully planned rehabilitation of the Strathmore restored many of the distinctive exterior and interior features and returned 129 apartment units and 2,000 square feet of commercial space to the local economy.

The Plaza, Detroit. Built in 1966 as a medical office building for doctors at the nearby Medical Center, the Professional Plaza became a beloved local landmark along Woodward Avenue in part because of the iconic ?Hammer and Nail? sign on the roof. The building was being prepped for demolition when a local developer intervened to save it. The once-tired facade now sparkles again and residents have moved into the 72 apartments on the upper floors. The Hammer and Nail sign now occupies pride of place in the first floor retail space.

The Citizen Award is reserved for an outstanding individual or individuals, who through personal effort and/or involvement in historic preservation projects have made a significant contribution to the preservation of Michigan?s heritage. This year?s Citizen Award winner is Rebecca Binno Savage, of Hamtramck. Rebecca has made an
indelible impact on the culture of the Detroit metro area through her education and advocacy work, including authoring nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, volunteering her time for local cultural and preservation organizations, and leading tours of the city?s historic resources.

The Community Award is presented to a community; e.g. neighborhood association, business preservation group, historical society, etc., that has engaged in a comprehensive plan for historic preservation related projects. In 2018, the MHPN is presenting two Community Awards:

To the Congregation of the Greensky Hill Indian Mission United Methodist Church, the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Hayes Township, the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, John Dziurman Architects, and Indian River Custom Log Homes for the Restoration of
the Greensky Hill Historic Indian Mission United Methodist Church. The mid-nineteenth century church has served as a significant American Indian heritage and cultural site for generations of community members. Through a combination of community grants and assistance and the hard work of the congregation and local
volunteers, the log structure was restored and is now ready to serve its community for another 150 years.

To Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear for its preservation work within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. For over 20 years, Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear has been working in partnership with the National Park Service to preserve and interpret the historic structures and landscapes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau and Benzie Counties. During that time, PHSB has stabilized, repaired, rehabilitated, and restored dozens of buildings and landscapes and sponsored activities and publications to educate the public about the region?s history.

The Preservation Gem Award is presented to an outstanding preservation project that includes restoration or rehabilitation of an element of a building, or of a structure or an object. The MHPN is honoring two projects in this category for 2018:

The Valpey Building Façade Restoration, Detroit. The 1896 Donaldson & Meier-designed Valpey Building housed a number of Detroit institutions over the years, including the Valpey Shoe Co., for which it was named, and the Frank & Seder Department Store. Over the years, the masonry façade deteriorated extensively and many of the decorative details were lost. The newly restored brilliant white exterior now accentuates the reconstructed cornice, balustrades, and decorative features while paying homage to the building?s history and prominent location along Woodward Avenue.

The West Hall Lantern Restoration, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The lanterns marking the Denison Archway on the Albert Kahn-designed West Hall are one of the most prominent landmarks on the University of Michigan campus. The copper-clad lanterns had suffered from weathering over the years, making restoration a priority. The original copper cladding was carefully removed, restored, and re-installed over reconstructed and structurally strengthened framing, ensuring the longevity of these iconic lanterns.

The Tax Credit Award is presented to outstanding projects completed in the last three years that included qualified use of federal and/or state tax credit programs. The winner of this year?s Tax Credit Award is the East Main Redevelopment, Milan. This project transformed an entire city block in downtown Milan through the combination of four late 19th century commercial buildings into one cohesive mixed-use development. The restored exteriors and rehabilitated interiors have brought 10,000 square feet of retail/commercial space and 15 loft-style apartments back into active use, proving once again the importance of historic tax credits in leveraging historic assets to spark economic activity in a historic downtown.

The winners of the final award category, the Lifetime Achievement Award, are selected by consensus of the Network?s senior leadership. The individuals who receive this award have worked throughout their careers to promote historic preservation in the State of Michigan. In 2018, three recipients have been selected to receive the MHPN Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kerry Chartkoff, Ferndale, California (formerly East Lansing). Kerry is being recognized for her decades of leadership in restoring, safeguarding, and interpreting the State Capitol of Michigan. Her meticulous research was invaluable in guiding the accurate restoration of the Capitol from 1989 to its rededication in 1992. As the Capitol?s official historian for 20 years, her work ranged from writing and overseeing the maintenance plan for the Capitol to developing programs to promote its history and importance.

Ted J. Ligibel, Lambertville. Generations of students in Eastern Michigan University?s Historic Preservation Program have been inspired by ?Dr. Ted?s? leadership and passion for historic preservation. Ted cut his preservation teeth in grassroots advocacy work and has authored numerous books and articles on preservation topics, but it has been his greatest strength and joy to help guide hundreds of students to launch meaningful careers in the preservation field.

Donald J. Weir, Jonesville. Don is being recognized for his dedication to archaeological investigations as a tool to study and protect Michigan's history. A career archaeologist, and leader in the Cultural Resource Management field, Don has worked on or led almost 200 projects in Michigan alone. This doesn't include all the projects completed across the country, or his leadership role in organizations from advocational and professional preservation groups to nationally active non-profits promoting preservation of cultural resources.

The Michigan Historic Preservation Network is a non-profit organization that advocates for Michigan?s historic places to contribute to the state?s economic vitality, sense of place, and connection to its past. Field assistances for local preservation efforts is provided by Network staff and volunteers and technical assistance is funded through small grants. For more information visit

Posted: May 1, 2018
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