Tom Ferguson, with his furry friend, stands next to a plaque newly offered through the Buchanan Preservation Society. Submitted photo

Archived Story

Plaques mark place in Buchanan’s history

Published 11:00am Monday, December 10, 2012

Buchanan residents with contributing properties within the city’s North and West Neighborhoods National Register Historic District can mark their property’s place in history through a new historic plaque designation program launched last week by the Buchanan Preservation Society.

In announcing the program’s launch, Preservation Society President Marjorie Trapp said the society is pleased to provide this service for owners of contributing properties within Buchanan’s newest National Register Historic District, and that the program is similar to many others already in place across the U.S.

“A plaque program provides an opportunity for owners to express their pride in owning a contributing historic property,” said Trapp, “and offers information to the public about the history of the District and Buchanan.”

Buchanan’s North & West Neighborhoods National Register Historic District was created in 2011, and is believed to be the largest per-capita district in Michigan.

Although the nomination process is stringent, listing on the National Register of Historic Places is largely honorific, and places no restrictions on property unless a project requires or utilizes federal funding, licensing or permits to undertake.

Through the new plaque program, owners of properties, which contribute to the district may purchase a 5-by-7-inch custom-cast bronze plaque for their property. The text on the plaque shows the district’s name, followed by the estimated or actual construction date of the property, followed by the society name.

Of the District’s 701 properties, 82 percent are considered “contributing” — a status indicating they retain a moderate to high level of historic architectural integrity, as determined by the National Park Service. A property must retain “contributing” status to qualify for this program.

Tracy and Dave Dippo and the staff at Redbud Hardware will assist the preservation society in this effort. Owners who believe their property is within the district should visit Redbud Hardware, where they will check the list to determine if a property contributes to the District. If the property contributes, the owner will be provided with program guidelines and an order form. Plaques cost $150. Completed order forms and checks will be collected at Redbud Hardware for the Preservation Society, which will place group orders as completed applications are received. After the plaques are cast, owners will be notified to collect them at Redbud Hardware.

Pam O’Connor, secretary of the preservation society, said approximately 15 plaques had been purchased already.

The Buchanan Preservation Society is a 501c3 non-profit volunteer organization with members in the Buchanan region, organized to preserve and encourage preservation in the Buchanan area.

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