Historic Mackinac Island Landmark Begins Transformation

"Growing" Silver Birches Renovations Set to Breathe New Life into Island Landmark

May 02, 2013, 16:25 ET from Silver Birches

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The vision to return Silver Birches, a majestic property on the northeast side of Mackinac Island, will take root Saturday, May 4, with a renovation groundbreaking and open house. Silver Birches will be open for interested parties to see the "before picture" and get a sense of the labor and love going into this very dilapidated and historically significant property.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130502/CG06872)

"Mackinac Island is one of Michigan's crown jewels, and the restoration of Silver Birches will add another gem to this outstanding destination," said George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. "We look forward to working with the Silver Birches team to attract even more visitors to Mackinac Island." 

Situated about three miles from downtown, the iconic three-story Adirondack-style lodge and expansive veranda face Lake Huron to the northeast, just steps away from M-185, the country's only non-automobile state highway, and popular bike and horse-carriage path. Surrounding the rustic log and cedar shingle main house, are two private guest cottages, two barns, a dock, and a pool, set amidst two acres of pristine property adjacent to state park land.

Originally built in 1906 to 1911 as a resort lodge, Silver Birches has also operated as a girls' camp, and summer rental. Dormant since approximately 2006, the recognized historic landmark has fallen into serious disrepair.

Chicagoan Liz Ware, whose background is in hospitality and who calls Mackinac Island her "true north," will lead the project for her family. She will tackle the renovations in stages, and plans to open Silver Birches in 2014:

  • Stage I will focus on restoring the cottages, and working with city officials to develop a master plan for the site.
  • Stage II will commence in the fall and include restoring the lodge, pool, and grounds.

"Silver Birches has an incredible history," said Ware. "Our vision is to 'grow' Silver Birches into a fantastic resort, creating a new destination and unique visitor experience on Mackinac Island, and be a source of pride for the Island and the State." 

The Silver Birches team encourages visitors to stop by this summer. She hopes to have a Visitor Information and Reservation Center open. In the meantime, please follow the "Growing Silver Birches" story via Facebook www.facebook.com/silverbirchesmackinac.

Laura Muma

SOURCE Silver Birches