Defend the Ann Arbor Seven, plus 1 Preserve Historic Architecture, Defeat the Demo Proposal that threatens irreplaceable architectural landmarks on S. Fourth Ave.

March 10, 2008

Defend the Ann Arbor Seven, plus 1 Preserve Historic Architecture, Defeat the Demo Proposal

Originally uploaded by jeff and leyla

Defend the Ann Arbor 7
Planning Commission meeting March 11. city hall

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Taken in a place with no name (See more photos here)

Defend the Ann Arbor 7
403 S. Fifth  Ave. , office of Ann Arbor Builders and Alex DeParryJanuary 2008To Members of the Ann Arbor Planning Commission and City CouncilHistory of the east side of the 400 block of S. Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan.Prepared by Susan WinebergA proposal by Alex DeParry to construct a large apartment building on the site of seven historic houses has prompted us to try to educate people on the importance of this block, both historically and architecturally. The loss of these houses will be irreparable for the history of the city and will result in the loss of many mature trees and vegetation as well. The proposed plans do not follow the guidelines recently adopted by the city for development in neighborhoods (and this is still a neighborhood with many owner occupied houses!). Bear with us as we tell you more about this important streetscape.

All of the properties on this block are part of the Original Plat of Ann Arbor, registered in Detroit in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, the two founders of the town. The east-west streets were named by the developers after their wives, their children (William St.), and our presidents (Washington and Jefferson; later plats used Madison, Monroe and Adams). The north-south streets were given numbers, which has contributed to confusion ever since. The block in question was originally platted into 8 lots. The earliest map which shows houses indicates that every lot had a house by 1853 except one. Some of the houses built on these lots date back to the earliest settlement of Ann Arbor. Others replaced older houses in the late 19th and early 20th century. All of the houses are over 100 years old.

this not proposed for demolition, but sure likes a cover up to me.

403 S. Fifth Ave
This is NOT proposed for demolition as it is in a historic district. It was built in 1883 (and is a good example of the late Italianate/Queen Anne style) by William Merkle, an officer in the Krause Tanning Company. It was later occupied by Herman Allmendinger, owner of Allmendinger Music. It received a preservation award in 1990. Mr. DeParry won the award and was quoted in the paper stating he wanted to “recreate the kind of place that downtown merchant William Merkle used to call home a century ago.”

re-considering demolition of 7
one of Ann Arbor’s most important groups of historic architectural landmarks, and quickly dissappearing links to the past of what this city was made of.
Condo developers and the those who would have Ann Arbor Builders, demolish, the City actually and the Mayor, are about to rip the heart and soul out of one of the original residential districts between downtown and the university of Michigan, which is also doing a very good at demolition of our neighborhoods as well.

It will be a crime if this proposal passes. And it will be a shame if nobody goes to the meeting March 11, to protest. j

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