MAF Architecture Road Trip #2:
Northwest Michigan


Thinking of traveling up north this summer, perhaps taking in the Traverse City Cherry Festival, or just visiting one of Michigan’s beautiful peninsulas? This month for our second MAF Architecture Road Trip of the season, we will explore some of the unique northern Michigan architectural buildings and historical areas that reinforce MAF’s mission of “Advancing awareness of how architecture enriches life.”  Ready? Let’s hit the road!


Manistee to Harbor Springs:

One of our first Road Trips focused on the northwest Michigan buildings featured in the Michigan Architectural Foundation’s book, ‘Great Architecture of Michigan,’ written by John Gallagher with photos by Balthazar Korab. That Road Trip explored the northwest region of the state, starting in Manistee and traveling north to Harbor Springs, near the tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula. A link to that original Road Trip can be found here:

Michigan Architecture Road Trip #2: Let’s Go ‘Up North’ – Manistee to Harbor Springs : Michigan Architectural Foundation


The Village at Grand Traverse Commons: (Formerly the Traverse City State Hospital)

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons | Traverse City, MI 49684A Victorian-Italianate decommissioned psychiatric hospital on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated Michigan State Historic Site. Now redeveloped as The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Check out the following options for a variety of tours including guided historic walking tours, tripod photography tours, and even an exploration of the asylum’s underground tunnel system. Do not forget to bring your flashlight! (see the Michigan architecture feature on this property in this month’s MAF newsletter).

3 Shocking Grand Traverse Commons Tours | Traverse City Historical Tours (

Tour – The Village TC

Grand Traverse Commons Tours: a Popular Visitor Attraction (


Traverse City Architecture-A Mid-Century Modern Driving Tour:

An Up North Tour for Mid-century Modern Junkies | Features | Northern ExpressLooking for something more contemporary? The following tours explore Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Traverse City region. These tours comprise a broad mix of commercial, educational, academic, religious, and private residential buildings. Most of the structures were built between the early 50’s to the late 70’s. The Old Mission Peninsula Loop tour provides stunning views of both East and West Bays, with portions that travel directly alongside each shoreline.

TOUR | Tour (

An Up North Tour for Mid-century Modern Junkies | Features | Northern Express


Historic Traverse City Tours:

Beyond the Beach: Traverse City for History BuffsIf you are a history buff, you will enjoy these tours through the historic downtown and neighborhoods of Traverse City. Learn about the early history of Traverse City and how it transformed from a logging and industrial center of northern Michigan into a premiere and robust vacation and tourism center that attracts visitors from across the state.

Tours | Traverse Area Historical Society (

Guided Walking History Tours of Traverse City – Traverse City’s oldest, most recognized walking history tour. (


Historic Manistee County Tours:

Manistee Historical Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You GoSeveral years ago, a few interested parties in Manistee County worked together to develop this comprehensive self-guided tour booklet, featuring eight different tours and over 100 area sites. The sites listed include structures still visible today. This thoroughly comprehensive guide includes tours of churches, historic homes, and industrial and commercial buildings. If you are going to visit Manistee County this summer, this series of tours is a wonderful guide to the area.

Manistee County Self-Guided Historic Tours – Manistee County Tourism – Manistee, Michigan (


Historic Leland and Fishtown in Leelanau County:

Leland Michigan aka Fishtown MI: Best Things To Do, Leland Blue RocksLocated along the Lake Michigan shore in Leelanau County, Leland is the site of the oldest and largest Ottawa village on the Leelanau Peninsula. This cozy little town is wedged between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau. Part of Leland is nicknamed “Fishtown” for its charming historical preservation

(photo courtesy Travel Michigan)

Visit Leelanau County Michigan – Discover Leland Along M-22 in Leelanau County




Village of Bay View (North of Petosky):

Bay View Victorian cottages were first recognized in 1957 when the Bay View Association was placed on the Michigan List of Historic Places. Subsequently, in 1972, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1987 received the Country’s highest designation as a National Historic Landmark. This walking tour of the National Landmark will serve as a guide to the location of the historic buildings and markers listed below.

Bay View Association – BAY VIEW WALKING TOUR (