Ishpeming would do well to be on National Register

We see only good things coming from Ishpeming’s downtown commercial district being included on the National Register of Historic Places. The city council recently approved a resolution supporting the effort, which can take as long as 18 months to complete.

Architectural historian Jessica Flores is heading up the effort for the city. According to Flores, the effort — which is being funded through the Michigan Economic Development Corp. as part of Project Empire — if successful could potentially pay a variety of dividends, including tax benefits and grant eligibility. In addition, one assumes that increased tourism also could result.

Project Empire was an effort launched by the state about two years ago in the wake of the closure of the Empire Mine in Palmer. Its goal, generally stated, is to assist communities grappling with the loss of employment from that mine business.

Flores will conduct research including interviews to round out the application. A Mining Journal story on the matter said she will then consult with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office to get rolling on the national nomination.

Once the nomination has been completed, it will be submitted to SHPO and the State Preservation Review Board for review and recommendation on eligibility. If approved, the nomination is submitted to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., for final review and listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Journal story stated.

Communities across the nation, including many right here in the Upper Peninsula, have been trading on their histories for ages. There’s no reason Ishpeming shouldn’t. We look forward to a positive outcome to this process.

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