Historic Pontiac GM Modern Housing neighborhood could win major renovation dollars

The city of Pontiac needs your vote.

Or votes. Up to five of them a day.

The historic Pontiac neighborhood GM Modern Housing Legacy Homes is one of twenty neighborhoods across the country, and the only in Michigan entered in the Vote Your Main Street Competition. Should they win the vote, the historic district will win part of $2 million in prize money, this thanks to American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The neighborhood consists of 261 homes across 61 acres. General Motors built the homes for its workers and their families between the years 1919 and 1926. They’re characterized by their brick or stucco exteriors, slate roofs, oak flooring and windows, and plaster interiors.

"The GM Modern Housing neighborhood is important to Pontiac because it is an example of a diverse, vibrant, well-built and affordable community from the past," says Renee S. Voit-Porath of RSVP Community L.L.C., located in Pontiac.

"And if we restore it, it can be so again for future generations. It's close to our city center and can contribute to our city's revitalization."

Funds won from the contest will go toward the renovation and restoration of several of the homes.

A neighborhood open house is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 18 and 19. Visitors can tour the historic neighborhood and meet the residents preserving it.

"This GMMH project is part of an incredible grassroots effort, neighborhood by neighborhood, happening throughout Pontiac," says John Bry, principal planner, and Oakland County Main Street coordinator.

"These funds will help restore three more homes in the GM Modern Housing historic district and continue to provide the needed impetus for more improvements."

Visit the Vote Your Main Street website to vote for Pontiac. 

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