Celebrating the 2011 Governors Historic Preservation Awards

Gathering Under the Rotunda
On May 4th, 2011, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) hosted the 2011 Governors Historic Preservation Awards.  The annual program recognizes historic preservation efforts across the state, with a wide range of projects recognized.  The winners this year included,

  • Chris and Abbey Green for the rehabilitation of 811 Portland, Calumet
  • The Traverse City Community, the City of Traverse City, the Charter Township of Garfield, Grand Traverse County, and the Minervini Group for the preservation of the Northern Michigan Asylum (Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital), Traverse City
  • Dixie and Charley Riley and the Museum of Paleontology – University of Michigan for the excavation and study of the Riley Mammoth Site
  • Christman Capital Development Company, Accident Fund Holdings, Inc., HOK, and Quinn Evans Architects for the rehabilitation of the Ottawa Street Power Station
  • The Woda Group, LLC, PCI Design Group, Inc. and Cornerstone Architects for the rehabilitation of Durand High School, Durand
  • Richard Karp, Kevin Prater, and Kraemer Design Group, PLC for the rehabilitation of the Durant Hotel, Flint

It was a pleasure to meet the people who were the driving forces behind each of these projects, including property owners and developers, architects, and city officials.  Also in attendance to share in the glory of the moment were Michigan State Legislators, standing proudly with the projects within their districts.  This all took place under the glorious restored dome of the Capitol Building, perhaps one of Michigan’s most distinctive historic preservation efforts in the last 20 years.

The Magnificent Capitol Rotunda

Five of the 2011 award winners benefitted from the Michigan Historic Tax Credits, a critical incentive program to encourage the investment in underutilized historic properties  As we have understand it, these projects would not have been possible without this important incentive being available.  As you probably have heard, these credits most assuredly will be eliminated as part of the tax reform taking place in Michigan this year.  There is commitment, though, from the Administration that there will be some sort of replacement financial incentive for projects in the coming year but this still needs to be developed and funded.

So, while we honor the recipients of the 2011 Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards, we have to wonder – will the award even be possible next year?  Rest assured, MHPN will work closely with the Administration and the Legislature to encourage them to develop a simple, fair and effective replacement incentive program that serves all of Michigan!  We advocate for Michigan’s historic places to contribute to our economic vitality, sense of place and connection to the past.

Elaine H. Robinson

MHPN President

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