Michigan Architecture Road Trip #4
The Upper Peninsula


Looking for a road trip that combines spectacular fall color along with great architecture in Michigan?  Let’s head north! This month’s MAF road trip crosses the Mackinac Bridge to explore Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and includes sites on Mackinac Island you can visit on your way to  or coming back from the UP.

Each of the stops below is taken from MAF’s book, ‘Great Architecture of Michigan’, written by John Gallagher with photos by Balthazar Korab. In the book, you’ll find more information on each of the structures (and if you would like a copy of the book, you can purchase it directly from  www.michiganarchitecuralfoundation.org).

Ready to experience the freshest of air, colors you won’t believe, and outstanding Michigan architecture?  Let’s go!  (If you can’t make the drive, take a virtual architecture road trip any time via your computer, smart phone, or tablet).


1.Fayette Iron Work: Fayette, p.112

This town once boasted one of the Upper Peninsula’s most productive iron-smelting centers. Located in the state’s Fayette Historic State Park, it proves that industry stripped to its essence can produce beauty all its own.




2.Iron County Courthouse: Crystal Falls, p. 40

The majestic Romanesque Revival style courthouse is among the most notable structures of northern Michigan.



3.Marquette County Courthouse: Marquette, p. 36

This courthouse with clear classical roots is clad in North County red sandstone, with copper cornices, columns of Maine granite, and an interior of Italian marble and fine hardwoods.



4.Marquette County Savings Bank:  Marquette,  p. 140

Built in the early 1890s to serve the thriving mining community, the building has stood as a local landmark ever since.



5.Superior Dome, Northern Michigan University: Marquette,  p. 22

Northern Michigan University got much more than an indoor football stadium when the dome opened in 1991.  The world’s largest wooden dome, known affectionately among locals as the Yooper Dome, rises 14 stories and encompasses five acres.



6.Calumet Village Hall & Theatre: Calumet,  p.29

Built in two stages, each designed by different architects, this Italian Renaissance Revival style hall and opera theatre, with red sandstone exterior with copper accents, remains an Upper Peninsula treasure.




7.Miners Houses, Calumet: Calumet,  p. 152

The town of Calumet is a national historic landmark, where the stories of the lives of 19th century copper miners are told with pride, and in part though the homes they left behind.




8.Quincy Mine Company Historic District:  Hancock Vicinity,  p. 137

Structures like the towering head frame of Mine Shaft No. 2, which dates back to the early 1900s, remain one of the few survivors of the era and remind us of the role the enormously important copper industry played in the region.




9.Houghton County Courthouse: Houghton,  p. 42

The opulent design of this High Victorian red sandstone and copper courthouse testifies to the prosperity the copper boom brought to the area in the late nineteenth century.



10.Amberg Cottage: Mackinac Island, p. 168

Just west of the Grand Hotel, this West Bluff cottage offers sweeping vistas of the Straits of Mackinac and a glimpse of summer time life during the Gilded Age.



11.Cudahy Cottage: Mackinac Island, p. 174

Not simply another West Bluff cottage, this 1888 Queen Anne and Shingle style home represents the pinnacle of Michigan cottage architecture.



13.Governor’s Summer Cottage: Mackinac Island, p. 34

The State of Michigan purchased  this Shingle-style resort residence in the 1940s. Since then, it has served at the site where Michigan’s governors have hosted legislators, reporters and business leaders.



13.Grand Hotel: Mackinac Island, p. 2

This iconic Michigan structure is a masterpiece in every way. The Queen Anne architecture-style hotel, completed in 1887, opened at the height of the Gilded Age and American prosperity. The hotel’s 600-foot front porch remains the primary meeting spot for anyone on Mackinac Island.