Most people look at a downtown as a geographic space containing commercial, residential and sometimes industrial properties that serve no other purpose than to house people, but for some folks a downtown is a landscape of buildings that are both the product and embodiment of local history.
Some residents in Dexter are apparently beginning to give voice to this point of view, according to remarks made by Dexter City Councilwoman Julie Knight at last night’s regular council meeting.
Knight conveyed to her fellow council-members that a home remodel project currently in progress on the corner of Central and Fifth has caught the attention of residents who value historic qualities of the Dexter downtown.
“We only have so many beautiful homes in town here,” Knight said in a brief one-on-one interview after the meeting was convened.
Knight is also a member of the Dexter Area Historic Society & Museum board and is known as the organizer of the yearly Christmas at the Mansion, which is a key source of revenue for the society in their ongoing effort to restore Gordon Hall to as close to its original 19th century glory as possible.
Historic districts are nothing new in western Washtenaw. Chelsea established the Chelsea Commercial Historic District in 2011 to preserve many of their historic commercial and industrial sites, including the Glazier Stove Company Warehouse, the Welfare Building, the Longworth Complex, the First United Methodist Church and nearly a dozen more.
The district also encompasses downtown residential properties on Jackson, East Middle, West Middle, Park and Orchard Street.
This area of Chelsea is included on the National Register of Historic Places
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