19 Michigan Properties Were Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2023

These historic churches, inns, schools, stores, and other locations were acknowledged for historic integrity.
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Artist Andrew R. Maglia, regarded for his work with mosaics and stained glass, created this 1,300 square-foot mosaic within the apse dome at Detroit’s St. Matthew Parish, which is among 19 Michigan locations added to the National Register of Historic Places last year. // Photograph courtesy of Pure Michigan

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced 19 historic Michigan properties were given special recognition in 2023 through their listing in the National Register for Historic Places, which is the federal government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are “worthy of preservation for their historical significance,” according to the National Park Service

More than 96,000 properties across the country, including nearly 2,000 in Michigan, have been listed in the National Register since the 1960s. 

To be considered in the National Register, a property must be at least 50 years old and must have a significant relationship to a major historical event or trend in the history of the community, state, or nation. A property must also have historic integrity, the ability to convey its significance. 

The following properties in Michigan were added to the National Register last year:

“Each of these historic places is significant on its own, but what is all the more impressive is the story they tell together. Through these historic places – and so many others in our state – we can expand our understanding of where we call home as well as the stories, struggles, and accomplishments of those who came before us,” State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) National Register Coordinator Todd Walsh said in a press release. 

2023 Historic Places in Metro Detroit

Frances Harper Inn

The Frances Harper Inn was the first rooming house for Black women in Detroit. The inn opened in 1915 and was operated by the Christian Industrial Club. It was used to provide safe and affordable housing for Black women and girls. The Inn was named after abolitionist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Frances Harper Inn, 307 Horton St., Detroit; miplace.org

Samuel D. Holcomb School

Samuel D. Holcomb School was founded in 1925 in Redford after the city experienced a rapid increase in population. The school was much larger than other schools in the area and experienced a variety of additions throughout the years. It was named after a physician and longtime resident of the city. Samuel D. Holcomb School, 18100 Bentler St., Detroit; historicdetroit.org

Immaculata High School and Convent

Immaculata High School and Convent was an all-girls Catholic high school that opened in 1941 and was operated by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After the school closed in 1983 and was vacant for more than a decade before it was renovated to the School of Marygrove. Immaculata High School and Convent, 16661 Greenlawn St., Detroit; detroitnews.com

Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company Detroit Warehouse

The Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company Detroit Warehouse was built in 1920 and operated until 1971. The Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company was created when European producers had a monopoly on the production of plate glass. The Detroit Warehouse was convenient to railroads crossing the city and was close to many automobile factories, as well. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company Detroit Warehouse, 6045 John C. Lodge Fwy., Detroit; digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org. 

Saint Matthew Parish

Saint Matthew Church was built in 1954 and seats nearly 1,200 people. There is a multitude of hidden symbolism in the building’s architecture consisting of limestone, granite, marble, stained glass components, and more. Upon entering the church, there is a large mosaic dome above the altar that contains over 1,500,000 tiles. St. Matthews Parish, 6021 Whittier Ave., Detroit; stmatthewdetroit.com

Vaughn’s Book Store

Edward Vaughn opened Vaughn’s Book Store, the second Black bookstore in America, in 1965. It specialized in books and information on African American history, literature, and writings. Vaughn became increasingly involved in the political sphere; he served as Michigan State Representative for one term, worked as Mayor Coleman Young’s Executive Assistant, ran for Detroit City Council, and then served as a Michigan State Representative again from 1989-2000. Vaughn’s Book Store, 12123 Dexter Ave., Detroit; reuther.wayne.edu

Cadieux School

The Cadieux School was built in 1906 to house eight classrooms and serve 240 students. Several additions were made to the school throughout the years, as the building housed all-area students from kindergarten through 12th grade by 1924. The school was named after Francis Cadieux, who was the District No. 1 School inspector for 33 years. Cadieux School, 389 St. Clair Ave., Grosse Pointe; grossepointenews.com.

Grace Ingersoll McGraw House

Grace Ingersoll McGraw moved with her husband to Detroit in the 1890s where they were active in civic and social issues. McGraw moved from Indian Village to Grosse Pointe in 1926 and lived in the large, three-story house until her death in 1950. The house was then sold to the granddaughter of John Gray, the first president of the Ford Motor Company. Grace Ingersoll McGraw House, 17315 E. Jefferson Ave., Grosse Pointe; higbiemaxon.com

Groves Farm

Groves Farm was named after Nicholas Groves, a farmer who purchased 160 acres of land in Northfield after moving from Vermont in 1831. The large property had a dairy barn, an animal barn, a horse barn, a corn crib, a farmhouse, and more. The Groves family was involved in local politics and business, while maintaining the farmhouse and property. Groves Farm, 6015 Sutton Road, Ann Arbor; washtenaw.org

John Grace School

The John Grace School was built in 1921 and originally contained four classrooms. As Southfield’s population increased throughout the ‘40s and ‘50s, many additions were made to the buildings. The school closed in 1980 and was turned into a library and community center. John Grace School, 21030 Indian St., Southfield; cityofsouthfield.com

First Congressional Church

Before the First Congressional Church was built in 1903, Wyandotte contained churches of five different denominations. Members of each congregation who opposed the strict stances of their churches eventually left to form the First Congressional Church. Less than 10 years later, the new congregation grew to over 200 members. The church is still operating today. First Congressional Church, 98 Superior Blvd., Wyandotte; 1st-congregational.org

For more information on the National Register of Historic Places, visit nps.gov and check out hourdetroit.com for more community news.