The Mission of Preservation Chelsea

It is our mission to preserve Chelsea as a village rich with history and charm, reflected by historic buildings, surrounding farmlands, and as found in our beautiful and vibrant village center. We aim to work through education, offering to ourselves and the community the history of Chelsea as well as the issues shaping our future. We intend actively to preserve historic landmarks and to have a voice in all issues that affect any possible de-centralization of our village. It is our intention to pursue this mission with full involvement and input from merchants and citizens of Chelsea and to act in ways that make sense for the preservation of Chelsea's charm and historic integrity while supporting a vibrant and successful downtown.

Federal Screw Works

Federal Screw Works
This property has been under threat of total demolition since 2008--there are historically signficant and architecturally interesting sections that should be preserved!

Jackson Street Panorama

Jackson Street Panorama
The DDA voted at the meeting on 9.20.12 to demolish the Daniels Addition Car Showroom despite the letter from the State Historic Preservation Office. (please read below)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Official press release--National Register of Historic Places

Downtown Chelsea Listed in National Register of Historic Places

March 15, 2011

Downtown Chelsea Listed in National Register of Historic Places

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) announced the addition of the Chelsea Commercial Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Chelsea Commercial Historic District comprises 61 buildings that form the historic core of Chelsea's commercial district. Near the north end of the district are the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, historically part of the Michigan Central Railroad. The district focuses on Main Street (state highway M-52), and includes properties on either side containing historic commercial, public, and institutional buildings. Also included are properties on Park Street, East and West Middle Streets, Jackson Street, and the former Glazier Stove Works complex in the northeast end of the district.

"The recognition and preservation of historic properties is vital to the economic success of Michigan's communities, both large and small, and necessary for maintaining the sense of place that so many people desire" said Gary Heidel, executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), of which the SHPO is a part.

According to State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway, "Chelsea's downtown has a fantastic stock of historic buildings for a small town that already attracts people to the community. They are what sets Chelsea apart from other towns. Chelsea has an opportunity to market itself as a heritage tourism destination and to take advantage of economic incentives for rehabilitating historic buildings."

Preservation Chelsea prepared the nomination. In addition to the Glazier Stove Works, the district includes the McKune Memorial Library, the former post office and several churches. The Chelsea House Livery Stable, the Daniels Showroom, and the Mack Building, which make up what is commonly known as the Longworth Complex, are also listed. These buildings are currently owned by the DDA, which is proposing to demolish the buildings. The national register designation gives the DDA an opportunity to market the buildings to a developer who wants to capitalize on the historic character of the buildings and use federal historic preservation tax credits.

There are more than 1,800 Michigan listings in the National Register of Historic Places. In Michigan the national register is administered by the State Historic Preservation Office, which assists property owners with the nomination process. Properties are nominated to the national register by the State Historic Preservation Review Board, which meets three times per year. National register designation makes the owners of income-producing properties eligible to apply for federal historic preservation tax credits for the rehabilitation of those properties. For information about the National Register of Historic Places in Michigan, visit

The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). MSHDA provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit

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