Iron Mountain Central Historic District Listed In the National Register of Historic Places

Special Recognition Follows Winning Contest Entry

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The State Historic Preservation Office, part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), today announces the addition of the Iron Mountain Central Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places, the nation's list of historic places worthy of preservation.

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"We are proud to be partners with Iron Mountain in its efforts to recognize the outstanding architecture in the community," State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway said. "Iron Mountain is using programs MSHDA offers, such as the Michigan Main Street Program, to develop stable, viable downtowns where people want to be."

The listing of the district, comprised of 150 buildings, resulted from an application made by Iron Mountain's Main Street Program, a function of the City of Iron Mountain's Downtown Development Authority, to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). The application was in response to an offer from the SHPO to prepare a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the central business district of one Michigan Main Street community as a contribution to the statewide Main Street program. Michigan Main Street communities were invited to apply for this service, with the one community that presented the best argument for how it would utilize and benefit from the historic designation selected as the recipient of the service.

The City of Iron Mountain submitted the winning entry. Most downtown historic district nomination projects such as this one are paid for by the city or private property owners. The work is typically done by hired historian consultants. It is time-consuming and costly work to prepare the application to list a downtown. A project of this type would carry a price tag of about $52,000. Because Iron Mountain's project was done by the State Historic Preservation Office, the project cost Iron Mountain taxpayers nothing.

The national register nomination, prepared by National Register Coordinator Robert Christensen, recognizes the central business district and adjacent areas.

"Iron Mountain demonstrates the way that Michigan downtowns reflect our diverse heritage," said Christensen. "There are buildings that reflect many important aspects of the city and region's long history, such as the iron mining that brought Iron Mountain into existence, the second boom resulting from the Ford plant in the 1920s, and the contributions made by many of the city's ethnic groups – Swedes, Italians, French-Canadians, Lebanese-Syrians, and Jews – to the history of the city and its downtown commerce. The downtown retains great buildings reflecting all periods in its history, including not only 'old' landmarks like the County Courthouse and Wood Sandstone Block but also a fine Mid-Century Modern Building in the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center."

The district boundaries range broadly from Fleshiem to C Street and Iron Mountain to Stockbridge Avenue.

"This national register listing solidifies the efforts of the Iron Mountain Downtown Development Authority/Main Street and local historians to nationally recognize our historically significant downtown," said Main Street Manager Jonathan Ringel.

Ringel added that he and other officials hope this listing will provide an incentive for current building owners and future investors to use the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits for rehabilitating structures in the district.

"We think this recognition and the rehabilitation that will follow will help make our community more vibrant," he said.

Historic sites are nominated to the national register by the State Historic Preservation Review Board, which considers nominations to the register three times per year. On behalf of the review board, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) forwards nominations to the keeper of the National Register, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, for listing. Michigan has more than 1,600 listings in the National Register of Historic Places, including some 250 districts comprising more than 20,000 properties.

The SHPO coordinates the National Register Program in Michigan.  For information on the National Register of Historic Places and other programs of the State Historic Preservation Office, visit www.michigan.gov/shpo or call (517) 373-1630.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is financed in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on its federally funded assistance programs.  If you believe you've been discriminated against please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C. St. NW, Washington DC 20240.

The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), which provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.

MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.

Contact: Katie Bach
Media Affairs Manager
Telephone: 517.335.4786

SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority



RELATED LINKS
http://www.michigan.gov/mshda

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