Let’s Hit the Road! Announcing MAF’s Architecture Road Trip


Michigan has a wealth of interesting architecture in every style and from every period. From cabins of the state’s earliest settlers; to pre-Civil war structures and other buildings that have preserved Michigan architectural history and heritage; world-renowned Mid-century Modern residential and commercial architecture; to museums, community centers, cultural institutions, and more, you’ll never run out of Michigan architecture to see and experience.

But where do you start? With Michigan Architectural Foundation (MAF), of course! MAF is pleased to launch its Architecture Road Trip series.

Each month, we will explore Michigan’s architecture, through journeys that lead you to some of the state’s most interesting structures and sites one destination, region, style, or theme at a time. Whether you want to take a close to home road trip this summer (or anytime), explore Michigan architecture remotely as part of your ‘staycation’, or simply learn more about Michigan architecture, MAF has you covered. Our goal is to advance awareness of and appreciation for Michigan architecture, and inspire you to experience how architecture enriches life.

To kick off, MAF wants to introduce you to historic Michigan architecture that has received MAF’s Evans Graham Preservation Award. Created in 1998 to honor the memory of preservation architect David Evans, FAIA, and guided by award co-founders Ralph and Jeanne Graham until their passing, the annual award provides financial assistance to those seeking to preserve historic Michigan architecture. Read more about MAF’s Evans Graham Preservation Awards.

See the complete list (and map) of MAF’s Evans Graham Preservation Award-winning structures around Michigan, below. Learn about each of the projects, and plot out your road trip or destination visit to one or more sites. Some of the locations are public buildings; others are privately owned, but offer excellent exterior photography opportunities.

For your MAF Evans Graham Preservation Award-based architecture road trip, you could start in metro Detroit, visiting the Worker Row House in Corktown, the Belle Isle Aquarium, and Engine 11 Firehouse in Detroit, then Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills and the Scripps Estate in Lake Orion. Head west to see Milford’s Pettibone Creek Hydroelectric Station, Starkweather Memorial Chapel in Ypsilanti, the Perkins-Copland Cabin in Okemos, Lansing’s Osteen Comfort Station, Ted’s House and the Delano Farms Homestead in Kalamazoo, then the Interurban Train Car at the Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum.

From there, head north to the Lawr Farm in Leelanau, Pier Lighthouse in Charlevoix, and King House in Good Hart. Voyage to the Upper Peninsula to see the Sault Ste. Marie’s News Building, Luce County Historical Museum in Newberry, and the Pewabic House in Hancock.  Don’t forget to check out the other MAF Evans Graham Preservation Award-winning sites in between.

Have a Michigan architecture road trip suggestion? Want MAF to share photos of your Michigan architecture road trip on our Instagram page? Reach out to us at MAF ArchitectureRoadTrip (mafarchitectureroadtrip@nullgmail.com) – and happy architecture travels to you!

Michigan Architectural Foundation Evans Graham Award Winning Projects (by location and year)

  1. Lawr Farm Restoration – Lake Leelanau (1999)
  2. Interurban Train Car Restoration – Coopersville (2000)
  3. Pewabic House – Hancock (2001)
  4. Worker Row House – Detroit (2002)
  5. Luce County Historical Museum Turret Restoration – Newberry (2003)
  6. Pettibone Creek Hydroelectric Station – Milford (2004)
  7. Engine 11 Firehouse – Detroit (2005)
  8. Perkins-Copland Cabin – Okemos (2006)
  9. News Bldg – Sault Ste. Marie (2007)
  10. William E. Scripps Estate Outdoor Restoration – Lake Orion (2008)
  11. Pier Lighthouse – Charlevoix (2009)
  12. Affleck House – Bloomfield Hills (2010)
  13. T.J. Osteen Comfort Station – Lansing (2011)
  14. Bonine House – Cass County (2012)
  15. Ted’s House – Kalamazoo (2013)
  16. Belle Isle Aquarium – Detroit (2014)
  17. Indian Village Street Lights – Detroit (2015)
  18. The King House – Good Hart (2016)
  19. Seafoam Palace Museum Building – Detroit (2017)
  20. Delano Farms Homestead – Kalamazoo (2018)
  21. Sentinel Freemont-McKinley Home – Battle Creek (2019)
  22. Starkweather Memorial Chapel  – Ypsilanti (2020)