A post in the Local in Ann Arbor blog reflects on the importance of historic buildings in creating a city’s sense of place. It includes a review of “Historic Ann Arbor,” a new book by local authors Susan Wineberg and Patrick McCauley: ”This book should be on the bookshelf of everyone who lives in Ann Arbor and values any sense of our history and architectural diversity. As Grace Shackman says in her introduction to the book, ‘Susan and Patrick’s love of Ann Arbor shines through every page.’” [Source]
The University of Michigan’s Architecture, Engineering and Construction website now includes a notice seeking proposals for the “sale and removal of the house located at 439 S. Division, Ann Arbor, Michigan.” The house was once home to Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Arthur Miller. For anyone who’s interested in purchasing and moving the house to a different location, proposals are due Dec. 10, 2013. A tour will be offered of the site on Nov. 19, 2013, starting promptly at 4 p.m. [Source]
The moving of historically significant houses has relatively recent local precedent in the Albert Polhemus House, which was moved in 2006 from Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor to a location on Pontiac Trail. The Albert Polhemus House now …
Employees at Zingerman’s Deli – or any of the Zingerman’s family of businesses – are trained to handle complaints from customers with a five-step process. The third step: Make it right.
Zingerman’s itself is “handling a complaint” from the city’s Historic District Commission (HDC) – one that can be traced back to a June 2008 Zingerman’s request to demolish two houses, which are located in the city’s Old Fourth Ward historic district.
Now Zingerman’s is bringing back another proposal, but this time they’re not starting formally with the HDC. Instead, they’ll begin by seeking approvals from the city’s planning commission and the city council.
The site plan calls for a two-story, 9,500-square-foot structure to be added to the rear of the deli building, which will carry a price tag of around $4 million. The new building would replace the house at 322 E. Kingsley St. and extend lengthwise towards Community High School.
Zingerman’s started satisfying the formal steps for getting approval of their expansion project this week, on Monday, March 8, by holding a citizens participation meeting.
But Zingerman’s has also met informally with the HDC at two separate work sessions since the start of the year – one in January and the other on Thursday, March 11. Based on a significant change in design between those two meetings, which integrates “the orange house” into the project instead of demolishing it, Zingerman’s is trying to “make it right” for the HDC.
Still, at Thursday’s HDC work session, the Zingerman’s team stressed how great the challenges were – financial and logistical – to preserving the orange house as part of the project design. It seemed apparent that Zingerman’s was making an implicit pitch for members of the HDC to give a green light for the previously proposed project – the one minus both houses.
Monday evening on the third floor of the downtown Ann Arbor District Library, developer Alex de Parry gave residents and neighbors an update on a project he’s been proposing in one form or another since early 2008.
The housing development would be located on the east side of Fifth Avenue, just south of William Street.
Previously known as “City Place,” the proposal has been newly baptized as “Heritage Row.” The new nomenclature reflects in part the expressed intent of de Parry’s development team to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for historic preservation for a row of seven old houses. Behind the row of houses, three new buildings would be constructed. Underground parking would be constructed under the three new buildings.
Previous versions of the project would have either demolished the seven houses or preserved them only in part. Now, the plan is to rehabilitate those houses to historic district standards.
“When a group is choosing paint colors, there’s lots of thought about hue, intensity, neutrals, accents, etc. But, it usually comes down to emotion. Just like buying new clothes, you have to try it on before you know if it’s a fit or not.” – Dick Mitchell, in an email to The Chronicle
About a week ago, The Chronicle spotted four fairly uniform rectangles of paint – in four distinctly different colors, but not wildly so – on the front of a downtown brick building that houses Mitchell and Mouat Architects. It seemed clear that a paint job was in the offing, so we decided to ask a simple question: What color?
The short answer is Bunker Hill. The long answer, as is often the case, turns out to be much more interesting.
At the Sept. 4 planning commission meeting, the resolution to recommend City Place project – proposed along South Fifth Avenue as a PUD by Alex de Parry – failed with only two votes for it.
Under-reported generally, and specifically about that meeting, is the volume of knitted material that is produced during Ann Arbor public meetings by folks in the audience. And knitting is a great metaphor for framing some of the general issues laid out at the planning commission meeting with respect to the specific project.