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Will downtown be historic place?

November 2, 2012
By Jenny Lancour - Staff Writer , Daily Press

ESCANABA - A study on the historical value of one block of buildings in Escanaba is done and will now be used to compliment an application seeking to list the entire downtown on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Thursday, the Escanaba City Council adopted the final report from a group of community members who photographed and researched the buildings on the 600 block of Ludington Street. The Historic District Study Committee was appointed by city council on Jan. 20, 2011, to determine the historical and architectural significance of the buildings.

After presenting a preliminary report to the planning commission and conducting public hearings, the committee submitted its final study to council which adopted the group's recommendations. Council also discharged the committee and praised the members for their work.

Article Photos

Jenny Lancour | Daily Press
Karen Lindquist, at right, a member of the Historic District Study Committee, informs Escanaba City Council on the architectural and historical value of buildings on the 600 block of Ludington Street during Thursday’s council meeting.

According to Peter Strom, committee chair, the group recommends the information compiled in the study be included in an application to list the whole downtown, not just the 600 block, on the National Register of Historic Places.

Earlier this year, Escanaba was named one of three cities in Michigan to receive a grant to pay the full cost to be nominated on the National Register of Historic Places. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a division of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, is paying for technical assistance to research and write up the application to designate the entire downtown as a National Historic Place.

Following completion of the nomination application, the report will be reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Review Board. Then SHPO will submit the nomination to the National Park Service for approval.

The Historic District Study Committee initially formed to look at forming an "historic district" on the 600 block but decided to recommend the block as an area to be included in the application to list downtown as an "historic place."

Strom explained that as an historic place, property owners have no restrictions on what can be done with their buildings as they would if their property were part of an historic district. In both scenarios, owners can take advantage of federal tax credits on income-producing historic buildings.

Years ago, Hereford and Hops brewery and restaurant, located on Ludington Street, was designated as an historic building. The Lofts of Ludington was most recently designated as an historic district and used tax credits to help develop an apartment/retail complex.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,



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