Boyne gets historic designation

By: Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
bgohs@boynegazette.com
(231) 222-2119

Boyne’s Central Historic District joins the list of 1,600 Michigan listings on the National Register of Historic Places.

The effort to attain the designation was spearheaded by Boyne City Main Street Program Manager Hugh Conklin with a $35,000 grant from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in 2011.

“That’s something we’ve been working hard on and excited about,” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain. “This is just another thing that will give people a reason to come and visit or consider setting up a business.”

He added, “It’s really another opportunity for people who have buildings downtown to give them another tool if they are looking to restore their buildings—it’s another tax incentive tool to work with.”
Boyne’s Central Historic District was one of seven properties and historic districts to be named last week.

“I think it is a great opportunity to preserve the heritage of the buildings within the district,” Conklin said. “It is a great thing for the city because it shows we care for the town and have preserved the historic past; and, I think that attracts people, too, as another feather in the cap—it shows you have a quality community.”

Conklin said many of the buildings in the district were constructed in the late 1800s. However, buildings need be at least 50 years old to qualify for the designation.

“There’s a great history now on each building that was developed during the application process,” Conklin said. “It’s a great resource that has helped us track the theater moving forward and it is a great resource for property owners doing research.”
He added, “This process was the result of good cooperation between the state historic preservation office and the Michigan Main Street Program … and, other than my time and that of the planning office, this didn’t cost the city a thing.”

The Boyne City Central Historic District consists of the following:

  • South from Boyne River to Main Street;
  • East from Front Street along Ray and Water Streets;
  • Boyne Avenue to Pearl Street

Michigan has nearly 250 districts listed that consist of more than 20,000 properties.

Cain said businesses are not required to apply for funds to improve their buildings or conform to any new standards.

“This does not put any new restrictions on anybody but it does open up new doors,” Cain said. “The real credit has to go to Hugh (Conklin) and the Main Street Program and the state for helping us get the grant to go after this program.”

Cain said the new designation could help the city’s chances with the proposed Boyne Theater and Dilworth Hotel projects.

And, he said, the new designation could also help with tourism.

“There are a whole lot of people out there who are into historic venues and that type of thing,” Cain said.

The State Historic Preservation Review Board considers nominations to the register three times per year.

The other most recent listings include:

  • Center Avenue Neighborhood Historic District (Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation) Roughly bounded by North Madison, Green, and Center Avenues, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Tenth Streets, Carroll Road and Nurmi Drive, Bay City
  • Upper Twin Falls Bridge
  • Over the Menominee River, Breitung Township, Dickinson County, Michigan, and the Town of Florence, Wisconsin
  • Williamston Downtown Historic District
  • First blocks of East and West Grand River Avenue and South Putnam Street, Williamston, Ingham County
  • Hanover High School Complex 105 Fairview Street, Hanover, Jackson County
  • Drake, Benjamin and Maria (Ogden), Farm 927 North Drake Road (Oshtemo Charter Township), Kalamazoo vicinity, Kalamazoo County
  • Grand Rapids Storage and Van Company Building 1415 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, Kent County
  • The Grand Circus Park Historic District designation was updated to provide for buildings built or renovated during the period 1930 to 1962. This will allow for the preservation of structures representing significant Modern design.

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