IN THE NEWS

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NOTE: For our Vintage Point column, which appears in the papers every other week, please see our archive here.

It’s Farmington’s 150th anniversary as an incorporated town. One of our leaders reflects on what it means to be a historic downtown. (Farmington Press, 2/6/17)

“Farmington could be quite similar to other towns,” she said, citing Northville, Novi and Plymouth. “But the fact that it has this long history makes it different… I think it really gives the community a sense of place.”

Our fall/winter 2016 lecture series made front-page news. (Farmington Press, 10/5/16)

The Maxfield Training Center redevelopment is right next to the Farmington Historic District, and one district resident wants to make sure his neighbors’ voices are heard. (Farmington Voice, 9/7/16)

Chris Schroer, a 28-year resident who lives next door to the Training Center, urged officials and the successful developer to consider that the apartment building will go up near historic homes. He hopes to see a dialogue with residents of the city’s Historic District, many of whom have lived there for decades.

The Maxfield Training Center proposal recommended to the school board (see it here) does not appear to affect the Queen Anne houses we’ve been fighting to save. (Farmington Voice, 9/4/16)

Two of the newest Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce members have some great things to say about running a business in a historic building: Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home and All About Women’s Health Boutique. (Farmington Press, 8/24/16)

For preservationists like us across Metro Detroit, protecting local historic structures is a near-Sisyphean task. But we’re trying anyway. (Metromode, 7/28/16)

“We’re talking about valuable structures that, maybe from an ornamentation standpoint, aren’t deserving of preservation, if you will,” she says. “They’re much more vernacular. But those are the lifeblood of the city, where people lived and worked and immigrated.”

Councilman Cowley, drop the pretenses, says one of our co-founders in a letter to the editor. (Farmington Observer, 4/28/16)

“Why is this stuff continuing?” Cowley asks, referring to both tree houses and historic homes. It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. But the answer is easy, although Cowley doesn’t seem to see it: Lack of regulation.

Introducing our membership program, workshop program, and lecture series. (Farmington Observer, 4/24/16)

The role of social media in community discussions–like ours. (Farmington Voice, 2/17/16)

“Last fall, posts on a popular Farmington area Facebook page ignited a public conversation about the fate of four Queen Anne houses on Grand River. On Monday, dozens of local residents and vendors crowded into Farmington city council chambers, after social media posts encouraged them to speak out in support of the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market…Social media is the new ‘town square,’ the new gathering space where people share ideas and opinions…”

A tale of two cities–and two historic districts. (Farmington Voice, 1/22/16)

“Without protection, Farmington’s historic neighborhoods will remain a district in name only. And perhaps, one day, Farmington Hills will become more of a historic destination than her older sister.”

Introducing our new then-and-now history photo column: VINTAGE POINT. (Farmington Voice, 1/14/16)

“…hopes that Vintage Point reaches people who are not necessarily interested in history, by seeing how the city has evolved. Readers will see photos of buildings still in place, as well as those that are long gone, like the Warner family’s cheese factory.”

Farmington City Council discussed the possibility of offering incentives to the developer of the Maxfield Training Center. (Farmington Voice, 1/11/16)

Our website went live the first week of the new year. (Farmington Observer, 1/10/16)

“The group…launched the website — preservationfarmington.org — this week, adding it to its other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to help reach its goal of ‘keeping residents in the know’ about issues dealing with historic preservation in downtown Farmington.”

Here’s how the decision process will be made regarding the two bids for the Maxfield Training Center–and, potentially, the 1904 house at 33104 Grand River. (The Oakland Press, 1/7/16)

“The Farmington Board of Education would have to approve any sale of the [Maxfield] property…But the board would not agree to a deal that could not gain the approval of city officials.”

More coverage of our petition to save the Queen Anne houses. (metromode, 1/7/16)

“…trying to convince the school system, the city, and any eventual developer that Farmington’s Victorian-era buildings should be left to their lots.”

The fate of the Grand River houses will remain a hot-topic issue in 2016. (Farmington Voice, 12/30/15)

“Whatever happens, a newly formed community group, Preservation Farmington, plans to keep the topic of historic preservation front and center.”

Our petition asks the city council to keep in mind that Farmington’s historic downtown is key to its individuality. (Farmington Observer, 12/27/15, front page)

“We all care deeply about the downtown and want to see growth…but not at the expense of what gives the downtown its character.”

On December 21, we presented 450 signatures to Farmington City Council–and an alternate plan that would be a win for preservation and development alike. (Farmington Voice, 12/22/15)

“…demonstrate to the hundreds of disgruntled Farmington citizens…that the city council appreciates their interest in the future of the downtown and is responsive to the concerns of the community they are elected to represent.”

Watch the video recording (we start at 33:16) of our petition presentation. (SWOCC, 12/21/15)

Only two proposals for the Maxfield Training Center redevelopment. (Farmington Voice, 12/18/15)

We’re set to present our petition. (Farmington Observer, 12/17/15, front page)

“The petition calls for ‘preserving the hundred-year-old Queen Anne houses at Grand River and Grove Street, and redeveloping only the area behind them,’ and says that losing these houses would threaten part of Farmington’s identity as a historic downtown.”

A creative solution from a local resident. (Farmington Observer letter to the editor, 12/17/15)

Twelve Farmington-area residents spoke at the December 7 council meeting, voicing their concern over the threatened Queen Anne houses and the unprotected historic district. (Farmington Voice, 12/9/2015)

“My grandmother taught kids from all over the area from 1945 to the 1970s…It’s the only house there that looks the same as it did before. I’d hate to see it torn down for a parking lot.”

Lead story in the free biweekly. (Farmington Press, 12/9/15, front page)

“If Farmington is going to remain a historic downtown, and that is a central part of our identity, then older historic buildings need to be preserved and incorporated into future development.”

(A few corrections: The Queen Anne houses are all occupied by businesses. The two houses up for sale are $460,000 total; the school property price is not specified, but it’s not part of that sum. Both houses have been optioned by the city, but are not owned by the city.)

Mayor Bill Galvin told Main Street Oakland County consultants that meeting with the Farmington Historical Commission was a waste of time. Is this community engagement? (Farmington Voice, 12/4/15)

“We only have a block and a half of historic downtown, and I don’t think we can afford to lose another block of historic buildings…Once they’re gone, they’re gone…Please remember, this is what keeps us special.”

Historic preservation was a hot topic at Farmington’s National Main Street accreditation review. (Farmington Voice, 12/3/15)

Our petition made the airwaves! (WXYZ-TV Channel 7, 12/3/15)

“We are all for growth, but not at the cost of our history.”

A petition drive is underway to save a row of Queen Anne houses in downtown Farmington that might be moved or face the wrecking ball in the not-too-distant future. (Farmington Observer, 12/3/15, front page)

“If Farmington is to remain a historic downtown, its older and historic buildings must be preserved and incorporated into future development and redevelopment.”

How will downtown redevelopment affect Farmington’s hundred-year-old buildings at Grand River and Grove Street? By Jena Stacey and Maria Taylor. (Farmington Observer, 11/29/15)

“If used responsibly, the pending redevelopment is an opportunity for the city to live up to its standards as an accredited Main Street community while simultaneously encouraging growth by bringing people downtown to live. It would be in the city’s best interest if the plan selected supports both.”

How about a test run of the proposed redevelopment? (Farmington Observer letter to the editor, 11/26/15)

“Glad to see that someone is looking to preserve the character of Farmington’s main street as typified by the Queen Anne homes. When the city was evaluating a lane closure in the downtown area, it put up barrels to test traffic flow. Maybe the planners could put a parking deck/apartment facade in front of these homes from now until the end of the year. Any bets on public reaction?”

The vacant Maxfield Training Center (not historic) is on the market. One of the back-to-back houses, available for joint redevelopment, was built in 1904. (Farmington Observer, 11/22/15, front page)

Four Queen Anne homes stand front-and-center in a key decision over Farmington’s future. By Maria Taylor and Jena Stacey. (Farmington Observer, 11/15/15, front page, picked up by USA Today)

“As the city moves toward changes to the downtown area, the question becomes: Preserve these Queen Anne homes and other heritage buildings that make Farmington unique, or replace them with new structures in hopes of bringing growth?”

Notice of our first public meeting. (Farmington Voice, 11/11/15)

Mayor Galvins claims that the Farmington Downtown Area Plan will “stimulate economic development while preserving contributing historic structures.” (Farmington Observer, 11/5/15)

Take note: He’s NOT saying that the city will preserve the threatened Queen Anne houses-turned-businesses on Grand River. The city does not see them as historic by their criteria (in the historic district, or on the National Register of Historic Places). What the mayor is really saying is that the buildings are not worthy of saving.

History is about to become a hot topic in the city of Farmington! (Farmington Observer, 11/1/15, front page)

“Preservation Farmington will work toward keeping the historic nature of the area alive.”

The origins of Preservation Farmington. (Farmington Voice, 10/28/15)

“…the ‘gag order’ on public dissent, the lack of binding review, and limited communication with city council have left the commission with no means to preserve the at risk historic structures in the City of Farmington.”

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