A proposal for the rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of the historic lighthouses at Grand Haven, Michigan
This creative project proposes a plan for the adaptive re-use of the light station in Grand Haven, Michigan by utilizing it as a field school for preservation and traditional building trades education. The buildings were declared “excess property” by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2009 and the City of Grand Haven is in the process of acquiring them under Section 308 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The field of historic preservation is growing, but there is a shortage of qualified craftspeople that are capable of carrying out sensitive restorations and rehabilitations. Through partnerships with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (MSHPO), the Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN), tradespeople, and vocational schools, a preservation trades field school could be implemented at the Grand Haven light station. Additionally, the Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy (GHLC) plans to use the buildings as display spaces for small exhibits and public tours. The plan proposed in this creative project will support a museum-type use while simultaneously building career experience for students and supplying a means by which the light station could be restored and maintained for future generations.