New Historic Preservation Grant for Gordon Hall
Washtenaw County works with the Dexter area community to promote historic preservation, heritage tourism, and economic development.
Gordon Hall has a colorful history, with ties to local pioneer Judge Samuel Dexter, slaves smuggled through the Underground Railroad, and 20th century birth control pill research advocate Katherine Dexter McCormick. This impressive Greek Revival style home was built in 1841-1843, and was originally part of a sprawling 1700-acre estate including land area in both Scio and Webster townships.
Located at 8341 Island Lake Road just west of Dexter, this nearly 70 acre site is a Washtenaw County Local Historic District. It is owned by the Dexter Area Historical Society & Museum, and has just been featured in the Washtenaw Area Historical Attractions Map, a brochure published this summer by a group of local historical societies.
A variety of educational programs, weddings, and community events have taken place at Gordon Hall in its current condition, but expanded public programs have been limited by the lack of a rehabilitation plan. During 2010-2011, thanks to a Certified Local Government grant from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, Washtenaw County staff will work with Gordon Hall’s owners to select a qualified architect to conduct an existing conditions assessment of the Greek Revival style house and to create a custom set of recommendations for the overall site. The Gordon Hall Rehabilitation Master Plan will provide a guiding document for the Dexter Area Historical Society & Museum, assist that organization in appreciating its built assets, and provide an implementation plan for its long-term care and use.
This project will provide great value to the Washtenaw County community by putting into place the historic resource documentation, evaluation, and implementation plan necessary in seeking funding for future rehabilitation and interpretation projects at Gordon Hall.