List of National Historic Landmarks in Michigan facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The National Historic Landmarks in Michigan represent Michigan's history from pre-colonial days through World War II, and encompasses several landmarks detailing the state's automotive, maritime and mining industries. There are 42 National Historic Landmarks (NHL) in the state, located in 17 of its 83 counties. The landmarks also cover sites of military significance, such as Fort Michilimackinac, religious significance, such as the St. Ignace Mission, and cultural significance, such as the Fox Theater and Ernest Hemingway's boyhood summer cottage. In addition, two previously designated landmarks have lost that status due to the demolition of the sites.

The National Historic Landmark Program is administered by the National Park Service, a branch of the Department of the Interior. The National Park Service determines which properties meet NHL criteria and makes nomination recommendations after an owner notification process. The Secretary of the Interior reviews nominations and, based on a set of predetermined criteria, makes a decision on NHL designation or a determination of eligibility for designation. Both public and privately owned properties can be designated as NHLs. This designation provides indirect, partial protection of the historic integrity of the properties via tax incentives, grants, monitoring of threats, and other means. Owners may object to the nomination of the property as a NHL. When this is the case the Secretary of the Interior can only designate a site as eligible for designation.

All NHLs are also included on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), a list of historic properties that the National Park Service deems to be worthy of preservation. The NHLs in Michigan comprise approximately 2% of the 1,757 properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Michigan as of January 2012. The primary difference between a NHL and a NRHP listing is that the NHLs are determined to have national significance, while other NRHP properties are deemed significant at the local or state level.

Wayne County, the location of the automotive capital Detroit, has the most NHLs, with 13, followed by Emmet County and Mackinac County with three each. Five counties have two each, and seven counties each have one listing. Michigan's first NHLs were designated on October 9, 1960, when three locations were chosen. The latest designation was made on October 31, 2016. Ten Historic Landmarks in Michigan are more specifically designated National Historic Landmark Districts, meaning that they cover a large area rather than a single building.

Current NHLs in Michigan

National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark District National Historic Landmark District
* Delisted Landmark
  • Numbers represent an ordering by significant words. Different colors, defined here, differentiate the National Historic Landmark Districts from other NHL buildings, structures, sites or objects.
Landmark name Image Date designated Location County Description
1National Historic Landmark District Bay View
alt=Houses and outbuildings
01987-12-23December 23, 1987
(#72000613)
Bear Creek
45°23′08″N 84°55′49″W / 45.385555555555555°N 84.930277777778°W / 45.385555555555555; -84.93027777777779 (Bay View)
Emmet Established in 1876 as a Methodist camp meeting, this romantically-planned campground was converted to an independent chautauqua in 1885, a role it served until 1915. These two uniquely American community forms are exemplified in this extensive and well-preserved complex.
2National Historic Landmark District Calumet Historic District
alt=Postcard of the Calumet and Hecla company town, showing multiple buildings.
01989-03-28March 28, 1989
(#89001097)
Calumet
47°17′45″N 88°27′14″W / 47.295833°N 88.453889°W / 47.295833; -88.453889 (Calumet Historic District)
Houghton Covering the industrial, commercial and residential districts of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company operating area, Calumet focuses on the influence, innovations and longevity of the Michigan copper industry.
3 City of Milwaukee (Great Lakes Car Ferry)
alt=A ship in port
01990-12-14December 14, 1990
(#90002221)
Manistee
44°15′34″N 86°18′58″W / 44.259324°N 86.316018°W / 44.259324; -86.316018 (City of Milwaukee (Great Lakes Car Ferry))
Manistee Between 1931 and 1982, the City of Milwaukee served as a car ferry across Lake Michigan. She is the only pre-1940 Great Lakes car ferry still in existence.
4National Historic Landmark District Cranbrook
alt=A large brick building with a central tower
01989-06-29June 29, 1989
(#73000954)
Bloomfield Hills
42°34′23″N 83°14′57″W / 42.573055555555555°N 83.249166666667°W / 42.573055555555555; -83.24916666666667 (Cranbrook)
Oakland This idealist educational community was designed to promote learning in an atmosphere of beautiful architecture, and has been called "one of the most important groups of educational and architectural structures in America".
5 Detroit Industry Murals, Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit Industry Murals, Detroit Institute of Arts
02014-04-22April 22, 2014
(#14000279)
Detroit
42°21′34″N 83°03′52″W / 42.359423°N 83.064414°W / 42.359423; -83.064414 (Detroit Industry Murals, Detroit Institute of Arts)
Wayne These four murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts are considered to be the finest remaining work in the United States by renowned Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, and the nation's finest modern, monumental artwork with industrial themes.
6 Alden Dow House and Studio
alt=The front porch of a house, surrounded by lush greenery
01989-06-29June 29, 1989
(#89001167)
Midland
43°37′22″N 84°15′18″W / 43.622792°N 84.255121°W / 43.622792; -84.255121 (Alden Dow House and Studio)
Midland This house and studio were the residence and acknowledged masterpiece of 20th century architect Alden B. Dow. The quality and originality of his work, as well as his association with Frank Lloyd Wright, have earned him lasting national recognition.
7 Herbert H. Dow House
alt=A house surrounded by large trees and bushes
01976-05-11May 11, 1976
(#76001033)
Midland
43°37′08″N 84°15′10″W / 43.618847°N 84.252758°W / 43.618847; -84.252758 (Herbert H. Dow House)
Midland Between 1899 and 1930 this structure was home to Herbert H. Dow, founder of Dow Chemical Company.
8 Durant-Dort Carriage Company Office
alt=A large brick building
01978-06-02June 2, 1978
(#75000943)
Flint
43°01′03″N 83°41′43″W / 43.017443°N 83.695280°W / 43.017443; -83.695280 (Durant-Dort Carriage Company Office)
Genesee Between 1895 and 1913, William C. Durant ran his automotive business activities from this office. The Durant-Dort Company was instrumental in the promotion and financing of the carriage and automobile industries, including lending to both Buick and General Motors during their start-up periods.
9National Historic Landmark District Edison Institute
alt=The clock tower of a large brick building at night
01981-12-21December 21, 1981
(#69000071)
Dearborn
42°18′17″N 83°13′55″W / 42.304722°N 83.23194°W / 42.304722; -83.23194 (Edison Institute)
Wayne Henry Ford conceived of the Edison Institute as a way to record the progress of the industrial era. The Henry Ford Museum, opened in 1929, holds an important place in the history of historic preservation and museums, especially outdoor village museums.
10 USS Edson (Destroyer)
01990-06-21June 21, 1990
(#90000333)
Bay City
43°36′50″N 83°52′10″W / 43.613953°N 83.869405°W / 43.613953; -83.869405 (USS Edson (Destroyer))
Bay One of two surviving Forrest Sherman-class destroyers; saw action from World War II to Vietnam. Relocated to Michigan as museum ship in 2013.
11National Historic Landmark District Fair Lane
alt=A very large stone house with many windows
01966-11-13November 13, 1966
(#66000399)
Dearborn
42°18′51″N 83°13′57″W / 42.31416665°N 83.2325°W / 42.31416665; -83.2325 (Fair Lane)
Wayne Between 1915 and 1950, this 56-room house was home to the family of Henry Ford. Originally designed by Marion Mahony Griffin in Prairie style, after construction began in 1913 the plans were altered by William H. Van Tine, who added elements of Late English Gothic style.
12 Fisher Building
alt=Ground view of a large skyscraper reaching into a blue sky
01989-06-29June 29, 1989
(#07000847)
Detroit
42°22′15″N 83°04′38″W / 42.370703°N 83.077310°W / 42.370703; -83.077310 (Fisher Building)
Wayne Built in 1927 by the Fisher brothers, this skyscraper is one of the greatest works by architect Albert Kahn. The Fishers intended this building to be a gift to Detroit and one of the most finely detailed major commercial buildings in the United States.
13 Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
alt=A large brick building with a sign that says Ford Piquette Plant
02006-02-17February 17, 2006
(#02000041)
Detroit
42°22′07″N 83°03′55″W / 42.36861°N 83.065278°W / 42.36861; -83.065278 (Ford Piquette Avenue Plant)
Wayne This production plant was the initial factory for the Ford Motor Company. Built in 1904, it was where the original Model T Ford was first designed and produced, and is the factory that earned Henry Ford his position in the American automotive industry.
14National Historic Landmark District Ford River Rouge Complex
alt=Machining operations inside a large building
01978-06-02June 2, 1978
(#78001516)
Dearborn
42°18′34″N 83°09′44″W / 42.30941°N 83.16212°W / 42.30941; -83.16212 (Ford River Rouge Complex)
Wayne This complex, mostly constructed between 1917 and 1927, was where Henry Ford first achieved continuous work flow in the production of automobiles. It is considered "one of the industrial wonders of the world".
15 Edsel and Eleanor Ford House (Gaukler Pointe)
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House (Gaukler Pointe)
02016-10-31October 31, 2016
(#79001164)
Grosse Pointe Shores
42°27′21″N 82°52′26″W / 42.455833°N 82.873889°W / 42.455833; -82.873889 (Edsel and Eleanor Ford House (Gaukler Pointe))
Macomb In 1926, Edsel Ford (the son of Henry Ford and a Ford Motor Company executive) and his wife Eleanor hired Albert Kahn to design a house on the shore of Lake St. Clair in a style resembling that of cottages they had seen in England in the Cotswolds. The site plan and gardens of the estate were designed by Jens Jensen. Construction of the house took a year, but the interior took another two to complete, and the Fords moved in in 1929.
16 Fort Michilimackinac
alt=Interior of a walled fort overlooking water, showing several buildings and walkways
01960-10-09October 9, 1960
(#66000395)
Mackinaw City
45°47′11″N 84°44′08″W / 45.786389°N 84.73555°W / 45.786389; -84.73555 (Fort Michilimackinac)
Emmet This fort at the tip of Michigan's lower peninsula was originally constructed by the French, but was later occupied by the British. During the American Revolution it was the only manned British fort on the Great Lakes, and was not abandoned by them until 1781.
17 Fox Theater (Detroit)
Nighttime photograph of a large building with a brightly lit marquee.
01989-06-29June 29, 1989
(#85000280)
Detroit
42°20′16″N 83°03′05″W / 42.337792°N 83.051442°W / 42.337792; -83.051442 (Fox Theater (Detroit))
Wayne This flamboyant motion picture house was designed by Howard Crane and constructed in 1928, showcasing an eclectic mix of decoration from several Far East cultures.
18 General Motors Building
Large building with four tower sections rising vertically above the street.
01978-06-02June 2, 1978
(#78001520)
Detroit
42°22′09″N 83°04′32″W / 42.369254°N 83.075693°W / 42.369254; -83.075693 (General Motors Building)
Wayne Completed in 1923, this is the oldest extant headquarters of General Motors in Detroit. This building symbolizes one of the largest manufacturing corporations in the world.
19 General Motors Technical Center
A wide rectilinear six-story blue-and-white building with the American, Canadian and Mexican flags flying in front, seen from a nearby roadway, under a cloudy sky
02014-08-25August 25, 2014
(#00000224)
Warren
42°30′48″N 83°02′16″W / 42.51333°N 83.03778°W / 42.51333; -83.03778 (General Motors Technical Center)
Macomb Eero Saarinen's International Style research center for the automaker was completed in 1955, and opened at a ceremony presided over by President Dwight D. Eisenhower the following year. It has been praised as one of the best industrial buildings of its era.
20 Grand Hotel
Large hotel atop a short rise with a wide verandah, set among manicured lawns and greenery.
01989-06-29June 29, 1989
(#72000637)
Mackinac Island
45°50′56″N 84°37′33″W / 45.8488968693°N 84.6259042142°W / 45.8488968693; -84.6259042142 (Grand Hotel)
Mackinac Built in the late 19th century, this white clapboard structure is one of the few extant large wood-framed hotels of the era. Situated on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron, it has been called "the American dream of "a summer place.""
21 Guardian Building
alt=Interior photograph of high, arched ceilings, elaborately patterned with brightly colored designs, while an intricate metal screen partially hides a large mural behind.
01989-06-29June 29, 1989
(#89001165)
Detroit
42°19′45″N 83°02′46″W / 42.329153°N 83.046122°W / 42.329153; -83.046122 (Guardian Building)
Wayne Formerly known as the Union Trust building, this 1928 structure was used to portray a friendly atmosphere to customers of the Union Trust Company. As one example in the progression of skyscrapers in the US, it is designed using Arts and Crafts tiles on a steel frame.
22 Ernest Hemingway Cottage
alt=Small cottage partially hidden by large trees
01968-10-18October 18, 1968
(#68000026)
Walloon Lake
45°16′41″N 84°59′58″W / 45.2781756787°N 84.9993079874°W / 45.2781756787; -84.9993079874 (Ernest Hemingway Cottage)
Emmet From 1904 to 1921, this structure was the boyhood summer home of author Ernest Hemingway, where he learned to appreciate the outdoors that came to play a major part in his bibliography. Built in 1900, it is a one-story frame building called "Windemere".
23 Highland Park Ford Plant
alt=Large brick building with many windows
01978-06-02June 2, 1978
(#73000961)
Highland Park
42°24′38″N 83°06′02″W / 42.410687°N 83.100528°W / 42.410687; -83.100528 (Highland Park Ford Plant)
Wayne Under construction from 1909 to 1920, the Albert Kahn-designed plant is thought to be the "birthplace of the moving assembly line". Automobile manufacturing operations began in 1910 and continued until 1927, at which point they were moved to the River Rouge Plant, leaving only truck and tractor manufacturing at the Highland Plant.
24 Lightship No. 103 "HURON"
alt=A boat on the water, with RELIEF painted on the side in large letters
01989-12-20December 20, 1989
(#76001974)
Port Huron
42°59′15″N 82°25′36″W / 42.98737°N 82.42667°W / 42.98737; -82.42667 (Lightship No. 103 "HURON")
St. Clair Lightships were used on the Great Lakes to mark dangerous areas not able to be marked by more typical lighthouses. Huron is the only extant ship of her type, and was the last one in service on the Lakes.
25National Historic Landmark District Mackinac Island
alt=The downtown of a small town, showing many buildings, some pedestrians and a horse-drawn wagon.
01960-10-09October 9, 1960
(#66000397)
Mackinac Island
45°52′00″N 84°38′00″W / 45.86667°N 84.63333°W / 45.86667; -84.63333 (Mackinac Island)
Mackinac This island's key role in the early fur trade was secured by its location at the center of the Great Lakes region. Hosting the northern headquarters of John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company until the 1840s, it preserves numerous buildings relating to the fur industry. Its geopolitical importance is illustrated at Fort Mackinac; control of this strategic island was not settled until the 1814 Treaty of Ghent.
26National Historic Landmark District Marshall Historic District
alt=A house with a large porch
01991-07-17July 17, 1991
(#91002053)
Marshall
42°16′19″N 84°57′51″W / 42.271944°N 84.964167°W / 42.271944; -84.964167 (Marshall Historic District)
Calhoun Originally considered for the location of the state capital, Marshall instead became a center of railroad activity and patent medicine production. Originally designed in the 1860s, much of the original architecture, ranging from Federal to Beaux Arts, remains, as does a majority of the original layout.
27 McGregor Memorial Conference Center
02015-02-27February 27, 2015
(#10001023)
Detroit
42°21′34″N 83°04′15″W / 42.359519°N 83.070722°W / 42.359519; -83.070722 (McGregor Memorial Conference Center)
Wayne Completed in 1958, the McGregor Memorial Conference Center was Minoru Yamasaki's first commission following his trip to Japan and re-envisionment of architectural design. The Center opened to immediate accolades from architectural magazines who called it "delightful" and "refreshing".
28 Meadow Brook Hall
Meadow Brook Hall is made of light-colored brick with much architectural detail, in the Tudor style
02012-03-02March 2, 2012
(#79001166)
Rochester Hills
42°40′19″N 83°12′04″W / 42.671944°N 83.20111°W / 42.671944; -83.20111 (Meadow Brook Hall)
Oakland Tudor revival estate of Matilda Dodge Wilson, built in the 1920s. It is one of the nation's largest historic houses.
29 Michigan State Capitol
alt=A large stone building topped with a dome and spire
01992-10-05October 5, 1992
(#71000396)
Lansing
42°44′01″N 84°33′14″W / 42.733661°N 84.553911°W / 42.733661; -84.553911 (Michigan State Capitol)
Ingham Designed by successful public building architect Elijah E. Myers and constructed between 1872 and 1878, it was the first of many state capitol buildings to be modeled after the US Capitol Building.
30National Historic Landmark District Mies van der Rohe Residential District, Lafayette Park
Several modernist gray high-rises with smaller, brown brick buildings beneath the bare trees among them, seen from across a body of water
02015-07-21July 21, 2015
(#96000809)
Detroit
42°20′22″N 83°01′55″W / 42.33940°N 83.03190°W / 42.33940; -83.03190 (Mies van der Rohe Residential District, Lafayette Park)
Wayne The largest collection of Mies van der Rohe buildings in the world, exemplifying the International Style
31 Milwaukee Clipper (Passenger Steamship)
alt=A ship at a dock
01989-04-11April 11, 1989
(#83003570)
Muskegon
Coordinates missing
Muskegon This passenger steamship, originally known as Juniata, is the oldest on the Great Lakes, having been finished in 1905. After extensive reconstruction in 1940, she was renamed Milwaukee Clipper, although she still carries the original 1905 engines, the only extant example of their type.
32National Historic Landmark District North Manitou Island Lifesaving Station
alt=A small white building.
01998-08-05August 5, 1998
(#98001191)
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
45°07′09″N 85°58′39″W / 45.119194°N 85.977517°W / 45.119194; -85.977517 (North Manitou Island Lifesaving Station)
Leelanau Serving as a Great Lakes lifesaving station from 1854 to 1932, this is the only extant example of the nearly 200 stations that once existed. The stations were volunteer run until 1915, when they became part of the US Coast Guard, and existed to provide aid to victims of shipwrecks.
33 Norton Mound Group
Norton Mound Group
01965-12-21December 21, 1965
(#66000396)
Grand Rapids
Coordinates missing
Kent From ca. 400 B.C. to A.D. 400, this was an important center of Hopewellian culture in the western Great Lakes region, and is considered one of the best-preserved examples in the area. Excavations in the late 1800s and mid-1900s gave insight into the construction of these mounds, and only around half of the original 40 mounds remain today.
34 Parke-Davis Research Laboratory
alt=A large brick building with many windows
01976-05-11May 11, 1976
(#76001039)
Detroit
42°20′06″N 83°00′52″W / 42.3349347044°N 83.0144806964°W / 42.3349347044; -83.0144806964 (Parke-Davis Research Laboratory)
Wayne Built in 1902, this was the first industrial research laboratory in the US established for the specific purpose of conducting pharmacological research. It inaugurated the commercial pure science approach which has driven the rapid development of pharmaceutical technology. National Park Service staff recommended withdrawal of landmark status in 2002 due to loss of the building's historic integrity during conversion to a hotel.
35 Pewabic Pottery
alt=A building with a sign reading Pewabic Pottery
01991-12-04December 4, 1991
(#71000430)
Detroit
42°21′42″N 82°58′52″W / 42.361567°N 82.981083°W / 42.361567; -82.981083 (Pewabic Pottery)
Wayne This 1907 building, designed by William Stratton, is the home of ceramic artist Mary Chase Perry Stratton's studio and production facilities. Her work in the Arts and Crafts movement raised the artistic standard of American pottery, and is featured architecturally or curatorially in numerous prominent buildings and distinguished institutions.
36National Historic Landmark District Quincy Mining Company Historic District
alt=A mine shafthouse and hoisthouse in a snowy landscape. A large brick building can be seen in the background.
01989-02-10February 10, 1989
(#89001095)
Hancock
47°08′07″N 88°34′33″W / 47.135278°N 88.57583°W / 47.135278; -88.57583 (Quincy Mining Company Historic District)
Houghton This historic district, centered around the Quincy Mining Company's activities, showcases the US copper industry from the mid-1800s through 1920. Many facets of company towns, mining technology and ethnic settlement are represented.
37 S.S. Badger (Car Ferry)
A large black ship with white upper decks rests at a berth, its rear surrounded by wooden posts.  The rear access to its vehicle decks is opened upward.
02015-02-27February 27, 2015
(#90000679)
Ludington
43°56′57″N 86°27′04″W / 43.949167°N 86.451111°W / 43.949167; -86.451111 (S.S. Badger (Car Ferry))
Mason The oldest operational coal-fired passenger ferry on the Great Lakes.
38 Ste. Claire (passenger steamboat)
A large ferry, loaded with passengers
01992-07-06July 6, 1992
(#79001177)
Detroit
42°17′45″N 83°09′02″W / 42.295833°N 83.150556°W / 42.295833; -83.150556 (Ste. Claire (passenger steamboat))
Wayne Designed by naval architect Frank E. Kirby. Between 1910 and 1991, the Ste. Claire ferried passengers to Bois Blanc Island for the Detroit & Windsor Ferry Company. She was moved to Toledo, Ohio in 2003, but returned to Michigan a few years later and in 2016 is docked in the Rouge River in Detroit.
39 St. Clair River Tunnel
alt=A postcard with a frontal view of a train emerging from a tunnel
01993-04-19April 19, 1993
(#70000684)
Port Huron
42°57′29″N 82°25′59″W / 42.958118°N 82.43298°W / 42.958118; -82.43298 (St. Clair River Tunnel)
St. Clair This tunnel represents a major advancement in railroad technology; when completed in 1891 it was the first sub-aqueous tunnel in North America that was designed for full-size trains. This advancement in construction technology allowed the creation of under-river tunnels that overcame the difficulties of building railway bridges over wide rivers.
40 St. Ignace Mission
alt=A large wooden building with new white paint, topped by a cross
01960-10-09October 9, 1960
(#66000398)
St. Ignace
45°52′11″N 84°44′38″W / 45.869651°N 84.743945°W / 45.869651; -84.743945 (St. Ignace Mission)
Mackinac Now a park, this was the location of a mission established by French priest Jacques Marquette, and the site of his burial in 1677. A second mission was established at a different site in 1837, and moved to St. Ignace in 1954.
41 St. Marys Falls Canal
St. Marys Falls Canal
01966-11-13November 13, 1966
(#66000394)
Sault Ste. Marie
46°30′11″N 84°21′17″W / 46.50305°N 84.35472°W / 46.50305; -84.35472 (St. Marys Falls Canal)
Chippewa The original canal of the Soo Locks, the 1855 construction allowed passage for ships between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. This allowed resources to be moved from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to commerce centers in the Lower Peninsula, allowing it to be considered one of the "most successful waterways constructed during the ante-bellum era".
42 USS Silversides (Submarine)
alt=A submarine tied to a dock, flying many signal flags.
01986-01-14January 14, 1986
(#72001566)
Muskegon
43°13′47″N 86°19′58″W / 43.229739°N 86.332830°W / 43.229739; -86.332830 (USS Silversides (Submarine))
Muskegon Having sunk a confirmed total of 23 ships during World War II and been awarded 12 battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation, the Silversides is the most decorated US submarine still in existence. During the war, she patrolled the Pacific Ocean with the mission of preventing crucial supplies and material from reaching the Japanese.

List of National Historic Landmarks in Michigan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.