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, July 19, 2012

Open Letter to DDA, City Council, Residents of Chelsea 7.19.12

 Preservation Chelsea

PO Box 63, Chelsea, MI 48118
uly 19,

Open letter to the Downtown Development Authority, City Council and residents of Chelsea:
All five resolutions presented during the meeting of the Downtown Development Authority on January 19, 2012 were to study situations related to the Longworth Property and Jackson Street corridor. Included among those five resolutions to be studied is the option of demolition of the Daniels addition showroom and the livery.

Since resolution number two is on the agenda today (demolish Daniels addition showroom), what is the evidence of that study? Although resolution three is not on the agenda today (demolish the livery), it should be noted that during the meeting on June 21, 2012, Mark Heydlauff said “The Livery building is old and used up and should not be saved.”

Questions that flow from the study of the situation are:

  • Is there an appropriate engineering study completed that documents that the Mack Building is structurally stable enough so that it won’t collapse when its neighbors are removed?
  • Although there will be hazardous waste remediation, what are the effects on ground water when buildings are demolished?
  • Under Section 29 (2) of the Downtown Development Authority Act (MCL 125 1679, PA of 1975), a DDA is required to refer proposed changes to the exterior of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places to the State Historic Preservation Office for comment. Has the SHPO been asked for its comments? What were they?
  • The adjoining land is owned by the depot, but being proximate to a railroad line, what federal licensing may be required to do major work at the site such as demolition? If such licensing is required, doesn’t that trigger a Section 106 proceeding under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 for federally licensed or assisted projects?
  • Doesn’t the use of federal funds from the EPA trigger a Section 106 proceeding?

The DDA has a responsibility to produce the results of the study before there is a vote for demolition of any part of the Longworth Property.

Very Truly Yours,

John L. Frank

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