Phase I, the historically correct restoration of Milford’s Pettibone Creek Hydroelectric Station exterior, is now complete. Once slated for the scrap heap of history, it will stand as a lasting historical resource for the community.

The 1939 Art Deco structure has undergone extensive brick repair and the massive windows and quarry tile floor in place. This first stage, begun in March, carries a $267,000 price tag. No longer a bricked-up, graffiti marred façade, the Powerhouse now stands as a distinctive reminder of Henry Ford’s Village Industry and his association with the renown architect, Albert Kahn. It will be a focal point of pride in Milford’s Central Park and offer an opportunity to tell the little known story about automotive history in a rural community.

“The project will be complete when the building is ready for a tenant, including interior work on the empty building and site and utilities work,” explains volunteer Project Engineer and village resident Glenn Rittenger.

“The icing on the cake, “ adds Judith Reiter, chair of the restoration committee, “will be historic interpretation of the building and the mill pond site.”

“The success of the project to this point was only possible because of a three-way partnership and a broad base of community support,”  explains Ann Barnette, DDA Director. “The partners, Village of Milford (owner of the building), the Milford Historical Society and Milford’s DDA shared the vision that gave the project momentum,” she adds. From that base, the financial support to complete Phase I came in many forms, from a $200,000+ grant to the children and families who donated $40 each to “Paint-a-Tile” for the Powerhouse.

Local and national funders include the Village of Milford, Americana Foundation, National Trust for Historic Preservation (Johanna Favrot Fund), Oakland County (Community Development Block Grant), Michigan Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Commission, Milford’s Downtown Development Authority, “Milford Beauties” Calendar Girls, MotorCities Auto National Heritage Area, Detroit Area Art Deco Society, Milford Historical Society,  Evans Memorial Fund for Historic Preservation, International Questers, Milford Township, Siplast/Icopal Roof Systems, Milford Business Association, Read Between the Lines Books, Hines Park Ford, Inc., Colley Electrical Systems, Inc., Denise and Lyle Tyler and many of the community’s citizens.

The architectural firm chosen for the restoration project is Cornerstone Architects of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pettibone Creek Powerhouse Restoration Project
Press Release - December 2005
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