historical preservation http://michiganradio.org en Preservationists hope to influence demolition decisions in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/preservationists-hope-influence-demolition-decisions-detroit <div><p>As Michigan cities age and populations shrink, some say that demolishing &nbsp;abandoned buildings is essential to reviving these cities and stabilizing neighborhoods.</p><p>Take Detroit, for instance. One estimate puts the number of buildings set to be demolished at 10,000.</p><p>But amid the demolition, is there room to preserve historic structures? How do we determine what should be torn down and what's worth rescuing and restoring?</p><p>To help answer those questions, Preservation Detroit and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network just completed a survey of six historic areas in Detroit. They're hoping to bring a preservationist's point of view to decisions about blight and demolition.</p><p>Emilie Evans is a preservation specialist with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, and she joined us today.</p><p><em>*Listen to the story above.</em></p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 21:36:53 +0000 Stateside Staff 16238 at http://michiganradio.org Preservationists hope to influence demolition decisions in Detroit Bills seek lasting maintenance of Michigan Capitol http://michiganradio.org/post/bills-seek-lasting-maintenance-michigan-capitol <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some Michigan lawmakers are pushing to create a lasting fund for maintenance of the 135-year-old state Capitol.<br /><br />Bills that could win approval in December would overhaul the building's oversight, make it a state historic site and create a permanent maintenance fund.<br /><br />It's been 21 years since a major restoration of the Capitol was finished. Keeping the building in good shape, though, has been tougher than expected.<br /> Sat, 30 Nov 2013 16:26:00 +0000 The Associated Press 15491 at http://michiganradio.org Bills seek lasting maintenance of Michigan Capitol VIDEO: Real-life Polar Express back on the tracks in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/video-real-life-polar-express-back-tracks-michigan <p>The steam engine that inspired the children's book <em>The Polar Express</em> and provided sounds for the movie version is back in service after a four-year refurbishment project.</p><p>The Pere Marquette 1225 rolled out of the garage Wednesday in Owosso, ringing its bell and spewing steam for train enthusiasts and volunteers gathered to watch the engine take its maiden voyage following the overhaul.</p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 17:00:02 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15372 at http://michiganradio.org VIDEO: Real-life Polar Express back on the tracks in Michigan A blighted building in Lansing's Old Town is getting a rehab http://michiganradio.org/post/blighted-building-lansings-old-town-getting-rehab <p>Lansing’s historic Old Town district is getting another boost.</p><p></p><p>The shopping and dining district is just north of Lansing’s downtown.</p><p></p><p>Mayor Virg Bernero says a developer plans to spend three million dollars rehabbing and expanding an old building into new retail and residential space.</p><p></p><p></p><p>“Vibrant, thriving cities have great buildings… great places for people to live and work,” says Bernero, “and Old Town increasingly, more and more, is becoming that place.”</p><p></p> Thu, 22 Aug 2013 00:12:53 +0000 Steve Carmody 14100 at http://michiganradio.org A blighted building in Lansing's Old Town is getting a rehab Battle Creek looks to use special tax district to revitalize a downtown landmark http://michiganradio.org/post/battle-creek-looks-use-special-tax-district-revitalize-downtown-landmark <p>An historic landmark in downtown Battle Creek may be rehabilitated.&nbsp;The art deco Heritage Tower was built between 1930 and 1931 to house Battle Creek’s oldest bank.</p><p>Over the decades, the building has changed owners and names.&nbsp;In recent years, the building has fallen into disrepair. Its upper floors have been condemned, and it no longer has tenants.</p><p>A Grand Rapids company bought the tower earlier this year.</p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 04:43:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 13569 at http://michiganradio.org Battle Creek looks to use special tax district to revitalize a downtown landmark Part of an Irish Hills landmark coming down http://michiganradio.org/post/part-irish-hills-landmark-coming-down <p>Part of the iconic Irish Hills Towers in Lenawee County is being demolished this week.</p><p></p><p>Members of a small wrecking crew are slowly dismantling the two observation decks that top the six story tall wooden towers.&nbsp;&nbsp; The work is expected to take a few days, depending in part on the weather.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>The towers have been a landmark along U-S Route 12 in southern Michigan since the 1920’s and they're on the National Register of Historic Places.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>But age and neglect have taken a toll in recent years.</p><p></p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 04:10:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 13332 at http://michiganradio.org Part of an Irish Hills landmark coming down Historical marker stolen on the Western Michigan University campus http://michiganradio.org/post/historical-marker-stolen-western-michigan-university-campus <p>KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - A college prank?<br><br>Police at Western Michigan University are looking for a large historical marker stolen from outside the birthplace of the Kalamazoo school.<br><br>The marker was discovered missing Thursday at East Hall. Size would make it difficult to hide: Like other state markers, it's 54 inches tall and 42 inches wide.<br><br>East Hall is 108 years old. It houses campus archives and regional history, but it's being turned into an alumni center. Over the years, the building has served as WMU's administrative offices and also was a women's gym.<br> Sun, 30 Jun 2013 14:37:39 +0000 The Associated Press 13311 at http://michiganradio.org Historical marker stolen on the Western Michigan University campus Fighting to save an Irish Hills landmark http://michiganradio.org/post/fighting-save-irish-hills-landmark <p>If you grew up in southeast or southcentral Michigan any time from the 1920s right through the 20th century and into the early part of this century, chances are you and your family visited or at least passed through the Irish Hills.</p><p>Driving along US-12, it's impossible to miss the major landmarks of the Irish Hills, the twin observation towers. Generations of Michigan families have climbed these towers to get a good look at the surrounding countryside.</p><p>But the clock is ticking on those landmark towers.</p><p>Donna Boglarsky, the president of the Irish Hills Historical Society and former owner of the towers, joined us in the studio.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em> Thu, 23 May 2013 21:14:03 +0000 Stateside Staff 12711 at http://michiganradio.org Fighting to save an Irish Hills landmark Before and after photos of Traverse City's converted mental hospital http://michiganradio.org/post/and-after-photos-traverse-citys-converted-mental-hospital <p><strong>Update: Tours now available of untouched building </strong></p><p><span class="author vcard"><span class="story_credit fn">Saw an <a href="http://record-eagle.com/local/x1533633667/One-last-chance-to-see-hospital-history">article by Matt Troutman</a>&nbsp; of the </span></span>Traverse City Record-Eagle where he reports that tours through the last remaining undeveloped portion of the former state mental hospital and its labyrinth of tunnels are now available.</p><blockquote><p>People lucky enough to land a spot on a tour will start in the Mercato and walk outside toward the north wing of Building 50. Many of the patient rooms are open for exploration, though people are warned to be aware of the peeling lead paint and must put protective covers over their shoes.</p><p>Once outside Building 50, the tour will go underground into the brick-lined tunnels that stretch beneath the hospital. The tour ends where it started: inside the new, redeveloped portion of Building 50.</p><p>Future tour dates will be announced on The Village at Grand Traverse Commons Facebook page. They cost $25, with the proceeds going toward maintaining and replanting the former arboretum.</p></blockquote><p>------------</p><p>The transformed Northern Michigan Asylum has been up and running as the Village at Grand Traverse Commons for several years.</p><p>Ray Minervini has been working on restoring the old state mental hospital for more than a decade.</p><p>You could call it a <strong>mega-</strong>fixer-upper.</p><p>Minervini <a href="http://www.environmentreport.org/story.php?story_id=3006">told us back in 2006</a> that the work being done on the site "equates to the largest rehab project for sure in the Midwest."</p><p>The former state mental hospital in Traverse City is a castle-like compound of about 27 buildings.</p><p>They were closed in 1989 and vacant for a decade after.</p><p>In 2002, Minervini bought all 63-acres of the property for just $1.</p><p>After putting in over $60 million, it's now a showpiece for the area. Once it's complete, the owners expect that approximately 1,800 people will live or work there. Tue, 19 Mar 2013 17:35:58 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11736 at http://michiganradio.org Before and after photos of Traverse City's converted mental hospital Hill Auditorium 100th anniversary http://michiganradio.org/post/hill-auditorium-100th-anniversary <p>This Saturday, the University Musical Society at the U of M is celebrating a hundred years since the opening of Hill Auditorium.</p><p>The celebration will feature a premiere screening of a documentary about 100 Years of UMS Performances in Hill Auditorium that will teach visitors about history of Hill as a performance hall and as a landmark building in Ann Arbor. Fri, 01 Feb 2013 18:39:30 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 11036 at http://michiganradio.org Hill Auditorium 100th anniversary Grand Rapids’ oldest neighborhood listed in top ten national “Great Neighborhoods” http://michiganradio.org/post/grand-rapids-oldest-neighborhood-listed-top-ten-national-great-neighborhoods <P>A national planning organization has named Grand Rapids' oldest neighborhood as one of the top ten in the United States.</P> <P>Homes in the Heritage Hill neighborhood were built mostly in the late 1800s. The homes are carefully preserved, making the Grand Rapids neighborhood one of the largest historic districts in the United States. Wed, 03 Oct 2012 20:49:31 +0000 Lindsey Smith 9350 at http://michiganradio.org Grand Rapids’ oldest neighborhood listed in top ten national “Great Neighborhoods” Preserving the music of Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/preserving-music-detroit <p>Many genres of music have deep roots in the city of Detroit, including punk, rock-and-roll, blues, techno and soul music. A new organization wants to help connect people and groups that have been archiving Detroit&rsquo;s musical history. &nbsp;<br /> Sun, 24 Jun 2012 18:48:07 +0000 Kyle Norris 8004 at http://michiganradio.org Preserving the music of Detroit Future uncertain for historic state fairgrounds properties http://michiganradio.org/post/future-uncertain-historic-state-fairgrounds-properties <p>Governor Snyder has officially opened the former state fairgrounds in Detroit for re-development, but it&rsquo;s not clear what will happen to the historic structures on the site.</p> Mon, 16 Apr 2012 15:17:37 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7049 at http://michiganradio.org Future uncertain for historic state fairgrounds properties People voice their concerns about historic preservation http://michiganradio.org/post/people-voice-their-concerns-about-historic-preservation <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden "><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The state is holding<a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,4641,7-141-54317-261118--,00.html"> a series of workshops</a> to get the public&rsquo;s feedback about historic preservation. A meeting is planned in Traverse City on September 21 and in Detroit on October 12. Another meeting will take place in Lansing in January.</p><p>People have already attended workshops in Kalamazoo and Midland. Their biggest concern so far is the lack of funding for preservation programs.</p><p>Laura Ashlee is with <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,1607,7-141-54317---,00.html">The State Historic Preservation Office.</a></p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;As part of the governor&rsquo;s restructuring of taxes in Michigan for businesses he eliminated the tax credits for historic preservation. There will be a new program, we believe, and we&rsquo;re going to work with the governor to implement that program.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Ashlee says historic preservation also makes economic sense. She says people are employed when working on restorations. She also says historic buildings attract people and businesses to that area.&nbsp;</p><p>The State Historic Preservation Office is in the process of writing its plan for the next five years. And the public&rsquo;s feedback will help shape its plan. Sun, 18 Sep 2011 17:18:53 +0000 Kyle Norris 4195 at http://michiganradio.org People voice their concerns about historic preservation