State celebrates 19 historic sites added to National Register; 10 of them in metro Detroit

What’s happening: A list of 19 schools, churches, private residences, and commercial buildings all have at least one thing in common – each has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recently announced that 19 historic Michigan properties were successfully added to the National Register in 2023, and 10 of those 19 sites can be found right here in metro Detroit.

What it is: The National Register of Historic Places is the federal government’s official list of historic sites regarded as worthy of preservation. While the listing doesn’t protect a building from demolition or alteration, it does open new opportunities for the historic properties’ owners, including access to grants and tax credits for site renovations and historic preservation work. Each state administers their own process for submitting sites to the National Register; the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) administers the process in Michigan.

Why it’s important: "Each of these historic places is significant on its own, but what is all the more impressive is the story they tell together. Through these historic places – and so many others in our state – we can expand our understanding of where we call home as well as the stories, struggles, and accomplishments of those who came before us,” says SHPO National Register Coordinator Todd Walsh. “In the pages of each nomination, the people and places of our past come alive. I encourage everyone to learn more about their community, our state, and our shared history through the National Register program.”

Making the list: Communities’ plans to redevelop their former school buildings through adaptive reuse projects could become easier thanks to their being listed in 2023, newly gaining access to grants and tax credits that could help bridge any funding gaps therein. It’s a group that includes Samuel D. Holcomb School in Detroit (1925); Cadieux School in Grosse Pointe (1906); and John Grace School in Southfield (1921). Also making the list was Immaculata High School and Convent in Detroit (1941), which is currently used as The School at Marygrove Elementary.

Local places of worship to be listed in 2023 include Saint Matthew Parish in Detroit (1955) and First Congregational Church in Wyandotte (1903). Other sites to make the Register include the Grace Ingersoll McGraw House in Grosse Pointe (1927); Vaughn’s Book Store in Detroit (1924); the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company Detroit Warehouse in Detroit (1920); and the Frances Harper Inn in Detroit (1893).

Visit the SHPO online to learn more about these and other historic Michigan sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.