Ferris State University and five other recipients were presented with 2013 Governor’s Awards for historic preservation at a ceremony in the state capitol rotunda. Burney Johnson, deputy director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, and State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway hosted the event on Wednesday, May 1.
Ferris received the award for its renovation of the historic Federal Building in Grand Rapids. University partners in the project, Christman Capital Development Company, the Christman Company, TowerPinkster Architects, Hopkins Burns Design Studio and the city of Grand Rapids, were also a part of the award.
“It is important to recognize the people transforming Michigan by rehabilitating our historic buildings and downtowns and protecting our archaeological sites,” Johnson said. “The Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation enable us to thank these people for dedicating their time, their energy and their financial resources to make a difference for Michigan.”
In Michigan, historic rehabilitation projects using historic preservation tax credits generated more than $1.7 billion in investment in Michigan communities between 2000 and 2012. In 2012 alone, completed historic rehabilitation projects in Michigan totaled more than $118 million.
“We urge planners and other community leaders to consider historic properties unique assets and to capitalize on those assets,” Conway said. “The Governor’s Awards helps educate and raise awareness of the possibilities for redevelopment.”
Ferris President David Eisler noted that the university had renovated the Federal Building as an asset for Kendall College of Art and Design students, and did so while also meeting Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.
“In renovating this historic structure, we worked to honor the past, reflect the environmental sensitivities of the present and anticipate the needs of the future,” Eisler said. “We believe that honoring both the sustainability and usability of this building sets an example for both Kendall and Ferris students.”
In addition to Ferris, the other 2013 Governor’s Award recipients are
- The Old Rugged Cross Foundation, Inc., D. Layman Construction Company, and the Community
of Pokagon Township, for the restoration of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of
Pokagon (Old Rugged Cross Church), Pokagon Township, Cass County;
- Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council, Inc., Tom Roberts, Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.,
Grand River Builders, Inc., and the Greater Coldwater Community for the restoration
of the Tibbits Opera House, Coldwater;
- Glenn D. and Jeanine Head Miller for the rehabilitation of the Milton and Kittie Geer
House, Superior Township, Washtenaw County;
- Neighborhood Service Organization; Fusco, Shaffer and Pappas; O’Brien Edwards Construction;
and Kidorf Preservation Consulting for the rehabilitation of the Michigan Bell and
Western Electric Warehouse (NSO Bell Building), Detroit; and
- The Detroit Land Bank Authority for demonstrating a true understanding the value of historic preservation through the NSP2 rehabilitations it completed in Detroit historic districts.
The State Historic Preservation Office, of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, initiated the award program in 2003 to recognize outstanding historic preservation achievements reflecting a commitment to the preservation of Michigan’s unique character and the many cultural resources that document Michigan’s past.
CAPTION: Kendall College of Art and Design President David Rosen, left, and Ferris State University President David Eisler, right, at the 2013 Governor’s Awards.