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    Primary staff contact for Commission correspondence: Rhonda Baker


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    Gra​nd Rapids Historic P​reservation

    Grand Rapids’ historic neighborhoods of stately manors and modest working homes define the character of the city and who we are. 

    Grand Rapids has experienced tremendous growth in the past fifty years, and will continue to grow. Urban growth has often led to the loss of historic resources, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, many architects and developers today are rediscovering the principles that characterized most historic districts: well built houses on smaller lots, with street trees and convenient proximity to schools, parks, shopping and public transportation. 

    Preservation protects history and sense of place, promotes a high quality of life, stabilizes neighborhoods, increases property values, addresses livability concerns and growth management as well as making good economic sense.

    Historic Districts Modernization Bills

    Bills HB 5232 and SB 720 propose amendments to the Local Historic Districts Act, PA 169 of 1970

    City of Grand Rapids Analysis
    The City of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission expresses concerns and suggestions regarding the proposed amendments to PA 169, Local Historic Districts Act contained in HB 5232 and SB 720 in the City of Grand Rapids Analysis of HB 5232.


    "Historic Preservation has been a driving force in Grand Rapids’ economic revitalization.Without PA 169, the Local Historic Districts Act, two-thirds of the Heritage Hill Historic District would have been replaced with surface parking lots and institutional development. The Heartside neighborhood in Downtown would have met the same fate."

    "Historic Districts protect property values. Grand Rapids has seen residential and commercial neighborhoods rebound from severely depressed areas to vibrant, active neighborhoods that once again contribute to the vitality and overall health of our city because of Preservation."

    Michigan Historic Preservation Network 
    Michigan Historic Preservation Network released this Advocacy Alert and Analysis of HB 5232 and SB 720.

    The Bills

    Current Status

    State Local Government Committees

    State of Michigan Local Representatives and Senators Searches

    Historic Preservation Commission


    The Historic Preservation Commission has several responsibilities that support the preservation and protection of our history. These include:

    • Recommending designation of new historic districts 
    • Reviewing applications for proposed alterations within historic districts
    • Enforcing the Historic Preservation Ordinance Chapter and cooperating with the state, federal and local governments in pursuance of its responsibilities
    • Conducting meetings or hearings necessary to carry out these purposes
    Commission Authority and Composition​
    Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was created pursuant to authorization of state law, MCL 399.201 et. Seq.. It consists of seven (7) members who reside in the City of Grand Rapids. Members are appointed by the City Commission for three-year terms (two consecutive terms are allowed). Members shall have a demonstrated interest in or knowledge of historic preservation. Two members shall be appointed by a list submitted by the Kent County Council for Historic Preservation and one member shall be an architect duly registered in the State of Michigan​.

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    Contact Information
    Rhonda Baker
    Historic Preservation Specialist
    City Planning Department
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    Preservation briefs provide guidance on preserving, rehabilitating, and restoring historic buildings

    SHPO provides technical assistance and an incentives program 

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    Please send webpage content or design suggestions for this Historic Preservation webpage to