To a small gathering of history enthusiasts, Bill Rutter laid out Thursday, Jan. 4 Charlotte’s application for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Rutter was hired in 2016 by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to put together an application that would create a Historic District in Charlotte.
The next step is approval at the state level, Rutter said. The 500-page document will then go to the National Register of Historic Places for final approval.
“The State of Michigan has a very good reputation with these matters at the national level,” Rutter said. “I don’t foresee any issues there.”
Inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places brings with it marketing and tourism opportunities, in addition to federal rehabilitation tax credits for property owners within the district.
The proposed district extends along Cochran Avenue as far north as McClure Street, as far west as Sheldon, as far east as Pleasant and just past Henry Street to the south
Charlotte Community Development Director Bryan Myrkle said the city has been skeptical in the past in applying for state historical designation due to restrictions it places on property owners. The National Register of Historical Places, however, does not place any restrictions on modifications done to properties within the district.
The cost of the application, which came in at more than $35,000 was covered entirely by the State Historic Preservation Office. The funding came about through Charlotte’s participation of Project Rising Tide.
Julie Kimmer, director of Courthouse Square Association, said once adopted, the final document will be available at Courthouse Square, the City of Charlotte, and the Charlotte Community Library. The document contains detailed historical information on every property included within the district. Rutter spent more than a year researching more than 300 properties within the proposed district, including photos of each property, to include in the report.
Myrkle said a bigger announcement of Charlotte’s inclusion within the National Historic Registry will take place following the final approval at the national level.