City of Niles receives Historic Preservation Grants for Chapin Mansion

Published 4:35 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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LANSING — The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has awarded $170,000 in grants to the City of Niles and two other Michigan communities, the Michigan Strategic Fund announced today. 

The grants represent awards from the federal Historic Preservation Fund’s Certified Local Government program administered by the SHPO and will benefit local preservation and community planning goals. Northville and Ann Arbor were the other cities.

“Historic preservation is about finding ways to celebrate, protect, and invest in the irreplaceable heritage assets that make our communities special,” said Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Martha MacFarlane-Faes. “The CLG program is an important tool through which SHPO and the National Park Service support local communities in their ongoing preservation efforts. We are pleased to present this year’s grant recipients and look forward to working alongside them in the successful completion of their projects.”

The city of Niles is receiving a $70,000 grant to hire a contractor to rehabilitate the roof of the Henry A. Chapin House, which is operated as part of the Niles History Center, a division of the City of Niles Community Development Department. The project will help ensure that the building, constructed in 1884 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, remains a viable community asset.
“The city of Niles is looking forward to working with the Michigan SHPO through the CLG grant to complete the roofing project,” said Niles History Center Director Christina Arseneau. “The work will stabilize this beloved community landmark for future generations.”
The project includes repairing the slate roof, ridge cap, gutters and downspouts, and upper fascia and builds on the city’s ongoing stewardship of the property, which has included restoration of the porch, accessibility improvements, and interior rehabilitation.

The Certified Local Government program is a partnership among local, state, and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the local level. The National Park Service administers the program in coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office. Participation in the program, which is open to any community willing to meet basic program requirements, makes a community eligible for specialized technical assistance and programming from the SHPO.

Participation in the CLG program also makes a community eligible for annual grants provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior and administered by the SHPO. These grants may be used for a variety of preservation activities, such as historic resource surveys, National Register of Historic Places nominations, educational and heritage tourism initiatives, pre-development plans and studies, and rehabilitation of certain historic properties.