CHAPTER XI - CONSERVATION
B. HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The type of architecture present in a community contributes significantly to its community character as well as the cultural quality of life. There are several historical residential neighborhoods, and historical structures and sites within the City that create a rich cultural history. Within the City of Kalamazoo there are eight historical areas: Stuart, Henderson Park, Mountain Home Cemetery, South Street, Bronson, Vine, Haymarket, and Rose Place. In addition, there are numerous historic structures that are not part of a historically designated area. Figures XI-3a and XI-3b and Table XI-2 identify the historic districts and indicates whether they are designated as national, state or local historic districts. The map also shows the locations of the historic structures in the City and their designations.
2. Stuart Area
One of the largest historic districts is the Stuart Area which extends from West Main Street on the south, to North Street on the north, and Ingelside on the east to Westnedge Avenue on the west. The Stuart Historic District is registered in three different categories, local historic district, national historic district and National/State/Local Historic Districts.
This area was settled by farmers in the 1830's. By the 1880's, the Stuart area began to grow. The Stuart neighborhood became one of Kalamazoo's most extravagant areas due to the aid of the horse-drawn street cars. With the industrial revolution many wealthy businessmen moved into the neighborhood. Three well known residents were U.S. Senators (Stuart, Stockbridge, & Burrows).
A large number of homes within the Stuart area were built in the Queen Anne Style. This style of home had a very detailed exterior along with irregularly shaped windows and stained glass. The homes were mostly multi-story and were designed in the sub-styles of Eastlake which used wood features. The other sub-style was Romanesque which had the distinction of "broad arches and roughly cut stone." This style of architecture can also be seen on commercial and public buildings in the surrounding area.
Some specific historic properties located in the Stuart Historic District include: the Henderson Castle at 1415 W. Main Street, the State Hospital Gatehouse at 1006 Oakland Drive, the State Hospital Water Tower at 1006 Oakland Drive, WMU Oaklands at 1815 West Michigan Ave, and the Stuart House at 427 Stuart Ave.
3. Henderson Park/West Main Hill Area
The Henderson Park Area is located west of the Stuart historic district on the south side of West Main Street. Originally designated as a local historic district, it was put on the national register on July 21, 1995. The Ihling-Burdick House located at 1903 Grand Avenue is an example of the Neo-Georgian/Colonial style of architecture. Henderson Castle, with its elaborate towers and dormers, is also a part of this area.
4. The Mountain Home Cemetery Area
Just north of the Stuart Area is the Mountain Home Cemetery Area. It includes the cemetery itself and one historic building. The cemetery was created as a private facility in 1848 and soon became the resting place for several Kalamazoo's prestigious persons. Three United States' senators and a governor are also buried here. The historical building is the Sexton's Lodge which is located on the cemetery grounds and is an example of Queen Anne-Romanesque architecture.
5. Haymarket Area
The Haymarket area is located within downtown Kalamazoo. This area used to be known as the "German district" because the businesses were operated by men with German heritage. The architecture of the commercial buildings was mainly in the Queen Anne style and modern design.
Located within the Haymarket District there are three historic registered buildings. The first two are Grand Rapids/Indian depot at 402 East Michigan Avenue, and Peninsula Building at 111 Portage Street. Both of these buildings are state registered. The third, a national registered building, is the Dasenberg Building, located at 251 East Michigan Ave.
6. Rose Place Area
Rose Place is located on the west side of Rose Street between Vine and Wheaton Streets. The Rose Place neighborhood began to develop around the late nineteenth century. The architecture of the buildings is of the Queen Anne style, but at a smaller scale than the ones in the Stuart Area. With the smaller scaled houses, the area has the look of the "working class".
7. The Bronson Park Area
The Bronson Park Area is a locally designated historical district with several historical structures within and near its perimeter. Central to the area is Bronson Park which is bounded by Academy Street on the north, South Street on the south, Park Street on the west, and Rose Street on the east. It contains a burial site of the Hopwell Indians, one of the few surviving links to the City's Indian heritage. The early homes in the area were Greek Revival in style and the later homes were Queen Anne style.
Several historic buildings and structures remain around the Park. They include the First Baptist Church located at 315 W. Michigan Avenue, the Harry B. Hoyt House located at 431 Academy Street, the Marlborough Apartments located at 471 South Street, the David Lilienfield House located at 447 South Street, the Ladies Library Association located at 333 S. Park Street, the First Presbyterian Church located at 321 W. South Street, and City Hall located at 241 W. South Street. In addition, the William S. Lawrence House (the Park Club) located at 219 W. South Street, the Isaac Brown House located at 427 S. Burdick Street, the Austin-Sill House located at 226 W. Lovell Street, St. Luke's Episcopal Church located at 247 W. South Street, and the Gilbert Henry House located at 415 W. Lovell Street, the First Congregational Church located at 227 Church Street, and the Festus Hall House are part of this area.
8. The South Street Area
The South Street Area was Kalamazoo's very first suburb, being on the outskirts of the very young town. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gilmore's, the Upjohn's, and the Todd's all have had residential addresses on South Street. There are 17 historic buildings in roughly a two-block area of the district. Among the historic buildings are: the Donald O. Boudeman House located at 515 W. South Street; the Frank Little House located at 605 W. South Street; the Hawes-Potter House located at 713-17 W. South Street; the Allen Potter House located at 718 W. South Street; the Wood-Upjohn House located at 530 W. South Street; and, the Ladies Library Association located at 333 S. Park Street. Architectural styles of the dwellings include Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne.
9. The Vine Area
This area was originally valued for its rich agricultural soil. However, the Vine area was eventually platted and sold to accommodate the City's population growth caused by foreign and native immigrants, primarily of Dutch ancestry. This is a locally designated historic district. There are nine historic buildings within the current boundaries of the area and six historic buildings on its perimeter. It also contains the only two octagon houses in the City. Those historic buildings within the area include the Allen M. Stearns House located at 703 S. Rose Street, the James P. Clapham House (one of the octagon houses), the R. Dexter Walker House located at 628 S. Park Street, and Walnut Flats located at 449 W. Walnut Street. Among the buildings on the perimeter of the current historic area are the Martin W. Roberts House located at 703 Wheaton Avenue and the Allan Potter House located at 925 S. Westnedge Avenue, the latter being the other octagon house. The Pioneer Cemetery site and the Peter B. Appeldorn House located at 532 Village Street are also part of this area.
A variety of architectural styles are located in this area including the palatial Greek Revival style of the General Justus Burdick located at the southeast corner of Vine and Westnedge. However, most of the others are of more modest appearance.
10. Other Historical Structures
Outside of the eight historic areas are twelve structures which are considered important landmarks in the City's historical development. They include schools, farmhouses, factories and even a fire station. Rich histories are associated with each of them. They include: the Enoch Shaffer House located at 1437 Douglas Avenue; the A.M. Todd Company Building located at 1717 Douglas Avenue; Engine House No. 3 located at 607 Charlotte Avenue; the Nazareth College Building located on Gull Road; East Hall and the Oaklands which are located on the campus of Western Michigan University; the Henry Montague House; the State Hospital Gatehouse; and the State Hospital Water Tower, all three of which are located on the campus of the Regional Psychiatric Center; the A. J. Stevens House located at 4024 Oakland Drive; and, the Bryant Paper Mill located at 2030 Portage Street.
Other historic structures include: the Upjohn Company located at the corner of Henrietta and Lovell Streets; the Andrew J. Shakespeare Jr. House located at 3605 Portage Street; Kalamazoo College located at 1200 Academy; Old Fire House No. 4 located at 526 North Burdick Street; William L. Welsh Terrace located at 101-105 West Dutton Street; the Portage Street Fire Station located at 1249 Portage Street; the John Gibbs House located at 3403 Parkview Avenue; the Rickman House on North Burdick; Kalamazoo School Case of 1874 located at 714 South Westnedge Avenue; and, the Illinois Envelope Company Building located at 400 Bryant Street.
11. Preservation Issues
The City of Kalamazoo has a very active "preservation community" consisting of the Historical Commission and the Historical District Commission. The focus of the Historic Commission is broad in scope taking on preservation issues that impact the entire community. The Historic District Commission has a focus on the activities within the designated historic areas. In tandem, both groups seek to raise community awareness on the value of preservation and the potential partnership that can be formed with economic development interests within the community.
Examples of such partnerships were evident during the Arcadia Creek Development project which saw significant public and private resources invested in the north side of the City's Central Business District. The Masonic temple located at 309 N. Rose Street was converted into a mixed use facility containing commercial and office uses. The Lawrence and Chapin Iron Works building located at 210 N. Rose Street is now a corporate office of First of America. Kalamazoo has witnessed several similar examples where both the needs of the preservation and development communities have been met.