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Holy Family Orphanage
Holy Family Orphanage (8358734677).jpg
Holy Family Orphanage in July 2011
General information
Status Renovated
Classification apartments
Address 600 Altamont Street
Town or city Marquette, Michigan
Country United States
Construction started 1914
Opened 1915
Closed 1981-2016
Cost US$100,000
Technical details
Material Brick and South Marquette Sandstone
Holy Family Orphanage
NRHP reference No. 15000701
Added to NRHP October 5, 2015

Holy Family Orphanage was an abandoned Catholic orphanage located at 600 Altamont Street in Marquette, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 5, 2015.

The building opened in 1915, served its last orphan in 1967, and was abandoned in 1982. Since being abandoned, the facility has been cited as an allegedly haunted location.

Facilities

At its peak, Holy Family Orphanage housed approximately 200 orphans from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and nearby areas. The building includes classrooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry facilities, kitchen facilities, and a chapel.

The building is mostly constructed of brick, but does include a decorative front entrance made of South Marquette Sandstone.

History

1917 postcard of Holy Family Orphanage
1917 postcard of orphanage

Construction on Holy Family Orphanage began in 1914, and cost approximately US$100,000 ($2,120,266 in 2021).

The building opened immediately after construction in 1915. Initially the facility accepted mostly children between second and eighth grade, but later infants and older children were accepted as well.

While it was intended originally to only serve white children, some of its first residents included 60 Native American children transferred from a Catholic home named after St. Joseph in Assinins. The Native American children had been placed in the Assinins home after being taken away from their parents to accommodate their integration into white culture. Also notably, in 1963, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette decided to host a group of child refugees from Cuba as a part of Operation Pedro Pan.

The orphanage provided care to hundreds of children from its opening in 1915 until its closure in 1965. The administrative offices of the complex continued operating until 1981, when they too were closed and the facility was considered abandoned.

In 1998, the building was purchased by local businessman Roger Rinne. His original intention was to convert the abandoned structure into an assisted living facility, but this plan was never realized. Rinne eventually placed the property for sale at a firm minimum price of $1.6 million, despite the City of Marquette estimating its value at just over $200,000.

In 2008, a purchase agreement with Rinne for the property was signed by Treasure Lampi, who reports she has plans to turn the abandoned structure into a school of performing arts. Lampi stated that renovation costs were estimated to be approximately $3 million.

2016 Renovations

In August 2016, A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Grandview Apartments was held at the Altamont Street site. The building is being turned into an affordable housing complex containing 56 one- to three-bedroom units.

The project is being led by developer Home Renewal Systems of Farmington Hills, with support from Community Action Alger Marquette, Marquette architect Barry Polzin, and the Wolverine Building Group.

An investment of $15.8 million is supported by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Federal Historic Tax Credits, as well as the Marquette County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

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