Downtown Clare nominated for National Register of Historic Places

File photo of Downtown Clare ( photo)

Clare's downtown historic district has been nominated for a listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

According to Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Downtown Clare was nominated at the January State Historic Preservation Review Board meeting.

"This is quite an achievement for Clare Downtown Historic District," said Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan. "This area makes up the historic commercial core of the city and is certainly deserving of a listing in the National Register of Historic Places."

The Clare Downtown Historic District is located entirely within the original plat of the City along four blocks of North McEwan Street, MSHDA says.

The district is home to 51 buildings, two structures, one site and two objects, dating as early as 1873, MSHDA says.

"If you have ever visited Downtown Clare you know it has a charm all its own," said Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare. "I am proud to say that the city I call home has been nominated for this prestigious distinction."

From an architectural standpoint, the district's two most important 19th century buildings are the adjoining Doherty Opera House (1891) and Clare County Savings Bank (1887). These buildings were designed in the Late Victorian style with complimentary broad upper facades, according to MSHDA.

Another significance to downtown Clare is the Clare Congregational Church, mostly because of architect W. T. Cooper. MSHDA says the main portion of the building remains well intact since its completion in 1909. The church itself has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1995.

"The National Register is more than a list of resources that have been researched and identified as locally and nationally significant," State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway said. "The register is a tool for honoring and preserving historic properties."

The State Historic Preservation Review Board approved the nomination of seven Michigan historic sites for listing. MSHDA says the other sites include Sacred Heart (Gros Cap) Church in Moran Township (Mackinac County), Bay City Masonic Temple in Bay City (Bay County), Eric and Margaret Ann (Davis) Brown House in Kalamazoo as well as Pontchartrain Club/Town House Apartments, WJBK-TV Studios Building, New Center Commercial Historic District and Professional Plaza Tower all located in Detroit.

MSHDA says the National Register of Historic Places is a program of the National Park Service within the U.S. Department of the Interior. In Michigan, the State Historic Preservation Office administers the program. Nominated sites are generally added to the Register within 45 days of being submitted.

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