Historic Restoration

The $11 million 401 East Michigan Avenue project incorporates all that is old and new in downtown Kalamazoo. Two buildings – constructed in 1888 and 1909 – were restored and a new addition completed the 36,611-square-foot complex, which extends the city of Kalamazoo’s business district by one city block. This landmark is comprised of four different eras of Architectural history; the 1888 brick and sandstone building, and the 1909 brick industrial building, and the new addition includes a 1930’s style as well as a 2007, aluminum facade.

A tight building schedule, restoration, and repair along with the new addition, at a site located on the corner of a major traffic artery, all combined to make a terrific challenge. Of the historic buildings, one was not structurally sound and the second required a new interior steel frame. Both buildings needed to be rebuilt from the inside out. Automobile traffic borders three sides of the complex; the fourth side is bordered by railroad tracks, all of which made for a tight construction site. The restoration required custom materials, which due to long lead times, required extensive timeline coordination.

Miller-Davis Company’s project team took a proactive approach to the construction of 401 East Michigan. Challenges were combated by getting out in front of the building process to ask and/or answer difficult questions before they ever became a problem. On-site coordination between all subcontractors was absolutely critical and creative problem-solving was required of those involved.

Winner of the 2008 Southwest Michigan AIA Merit Award and 2009 Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission Merit Award. Architect services were provided by Nelson Breech Nave, AIA, Architect.

Location:Kalamazoo, MI