The Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN) is pleased to announce the 2012 Historic Preservation Awards winners.

16 award winners from across Michigan were selected in five categories, including: Building, Citizen, Community, Preservation Gem, and Lifetime Achievement.  This year, the awards ceremony is one of the highlights of the 32nd Annual MHPN Conference, “Model Change-Over: A New Era for Historic Preservation in Michigan.”

Seven Building Awards are presented for projects completed within the last three years. Winning projects may be a restoration or rehabilitation, and must include exterior work, but may also include interior work.  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’s winners include:

1945 Standard Oil Gas Station, Detroit. Creative thinking led to the adaptive reuse of this World-War II era Art Moderne gas station into a local pharmacy, preserving its distinctive design while giving it new life.

5716 Wellness, Detroit. Formerly known as the San Telmo Cigar Factory, this 1910 building, the only known remaining wood-beam building designed by Albert Kahn, now houses agencies providing health and wellness services to the surrounding neighborhood in Southwest Detroit.

Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. National Headquarters, Lansing. The adaptive reuse of Lansing’s Art Deco Ottawa Street Power Station from a power generation facility to Class A office space kept a major employer downtown and restores one of the city’s most distinctive buildings to functional use.

Almont Historical Museum, Almont. The village of Almont’s only remaining historic wood structure was returned to its nineteenth century charm and now serves as the home of the community’s Historical Museum.

The Armory, Lansing. After decades of military service, Lansing’s 1924 Armory was adapted as the collaborative headquarters for seven local non-profit organizations, preserving its military character and history of community service.

Flat Iron Building, Grand Rapids. Three of Grand Rapids’ oldest buildings, dating from the Civil War era, were rehabilitated to provide office and retail space. The buildings are now fully occupied for the first time in over 60 years.

Newberry Hall, Detroit. Originally serving as housing for nursing students in the early 1900s, Newberry Hall suffered from 20 years of vacancy and deterioration before being rehabilitated as affordable market-rate housing in Detroit’s thriving Midtown.

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. The winners of this year’s Citizen Awards are:

Claire Gregory, Bay City. A Bay City native, Claire used her own money and hard work to restore the George and Maria Mann house, utilizing 98% locally purchased materials and providing jobs for local companies and craftspeople in the process.

Martin Overhiser, Marshall. Martin secured nearly $900,000 in grants and matching funds and leveraged thousands of hours of volunteer time to make major improvements to the Marshall Historical Society’s three museums, including the famous Honolulu House.

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. The winner of this year’s Community Award is Eastern Market Corporation, Detroit. Over the past several years, the Corporation has renovated two of its historic sheds to maintain the Market’s legacy as “Detroit’s Kitchen.”

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 winners of this year’s Preservation Gem Awards are:

The Basilica of St. Adalbert Domes Restoration, Grand Rapids. The copper domes of St. Adalbert’s, the only basilica in Michigan, were carefully removed from their bases, restored with hand-crafted materials, and removed to their prominent place on the skyline of Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Theatre of Jackson Mechanic Street Cupola Restoration, Jackson. The cupola above the Mechanic Street Façade of the 1930 Michigan Theatre of Jackson was meticulously restored as part of a 20-plus year effort to rehabilitate the theatre.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church Steeple Restoration, Grand Rapids. The slate-clad bell tower steeple of St. Mary’s Church was fully restored with the original carefully documented slate pattern and colors.

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 2012, three recipients have been selected to receive the MHPN Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, Ann Arbor. Tom Fitzpatrick has been a leader in the structural engineering of historic buildings and structures for over 45 years. Since 1995 he has headed his own firm, Fitzpatrick Structural Engineering, in Ann Arbor.

Deborah Goldstein, Bloomfield Hills. Deborah Goldstein is being honored for her over thirty year career as a historic preservation specialist and city planner for the City of Detroit.

David White, Flint. David White has devoted his professional career, private endeavors, and community service to the advancement and preservation of Flint and Genesee County’s cultural resources.

For more information about the Michigan Historic Preservation Network visit

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One comment on “Annual Michigan Historic Preservation Awards Announced

  1. Anezilane says:

    I was not able to attend this leuctre, as I had class in the middle of it. However, it sounds like it would have been interesting, particularly the part about something being historic just because it is old. I have seen a lot of historic places that I am not sure really have historic value enough to be preserved.

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