Niles wins $70K grant to restore roof of historic mansion

What’s happening: Efforts to restore the historic Henry A. Chapin House received a welcome boost from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) late last week, as the state announced that the city of Niles would receive a $70,000 grant to do just that. The grant comes as an award from the federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) — Certified Local Government (CLG) program, which is administered by the SHPO.

What’s planned: The $70,000 will be used to hire a contractor to rehabilitate the roof of the historic Chapin House, which will repair the slate roof, ridge cap, gutters and downspouts, and upper fascia. The city of Niles has already restored the building’s porch and interior, as well as made modern accessibility improvements.

Why it’s important: “Historic preservation is about finding ways to celebrate, protect, and invest in the irreplaceable heritage assets that make our communities special,” says Martha MacFarlane-Faes, Michigan’s Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer.

What it is: The Henry A. Chapin House was built in 1884 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places nearly a century later, in 1981. The historic mansion operates as part of the Niles History Center, a division of the City of Niles Community Development Department. The building, which is billed as “one of nation's finest examples of the American Aesthetic style,” was donated to Niles in 1933, served as City Hall for a period, and is now administered by the Niles History Center.

What they’re saying: “The city of Niles is looking forward to working with the Michigan SHPO through the CLG grant to complete the roofing project,” says Christina Arseneau, director of the Niles History Center. “The work will stabilize this beloved community landmark for future generations.”