By: Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
Boyne City is one step closer to a historic honor.
Boyne City received a grant for $35,000 from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in 2011 to apply to have part of Boyne City’s downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places—that application has now been finalized and sent to SHPO for review.
“The study confirms that you’ve got a lot of history here (and) a lot of interesting architecture,” said historic architect William Rutter. “I have recommended, and SHPO has agreed to this point, that the district that we have defined is eligible for the national register.”
Rutter said it could simply be a matter of a couple steps to formalize the designation.
“If it is listed in the national register it will generate publicity for the city,” he said. “It will help attract visitors because heritage tourism is a growing part of the travel and recreation segment.”
Rutter added, “It will also add offer financial incentives for rehabilitation of buildings within the district.”
The National Park Service oversees the National Register of Historic Places and will make the final decision on whether Boyne City is admitted.
“The project involves a lot of field work, a lot of photography, detailed historical research, interviews, preparation of maps,” Rutter said. “The study focuses on historic context that are defined by the national register.”
Criteria to qualify include categories like association with historic events, historic people and historic architecture.
“There is an age component: 50 years or older,” Rutter said. “Most of the buildings downtown meet that.”
No local funds were needed to prepare this application.
A public meeting on this matter has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 30, in the community room of the Boyne District Library.