official freighthouse update

A few days ago, I posted something here about Ypsi’s historic Freighthouse and how disappointed I was that more hadn’t been done to reopen it these past several years. That post generated some great comments, and brought the following response from Friends of the Freighthouse Co-Chair Bonnie Penet.

Here’s a complete update. Also please see the attachment which is the narrative portion of the 2007 grant application.

It’s important for everyone to realize is that there is an entirely new FOYF Executive Board, which has made significant progress in the reorganization of the FOYF, including a clear focus on financial management and record-keeping, historic architecture preservation, improved structural engineering, Landscaping and grading issues, construction and railroading research, plus the strategic, long-term organizational goals/business development plans for the future.

Since the completion of the C.A.R. (Condition Assessment Report), state and local “experts” in every area addressed by the assessment have been brought in to evaluate, prioritize and re-budget the needs of the facility. Needless to say, the task is large, but it’s do-able, even in these times.

Let me bring you up-to-date with some details of the more significant activity which has taken place since the closure of the Freighthouse in 2004.

First off… the grants… The City of Ypsilanti has received 2 grants for the freighthouse from the State Historic Preservation Office or (SHPO). One was used to upgrade the electrical system. The other was used to fund the Condition Assessment Report, which provided detailed engineering and architectural plans and specifications.

In addition to a SHPO grants, the City received a $6,800 Fire Act, Homeland Security Grant, which was used to install a fire alarm system.

Second… some FOYF history. In January 2005, under a written agreement with the City, The Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse assumed oversight. At this point, the effort commenced to restore, renovate or otherwise rehabilitate the Freighthouse into code compliance and obtain a permit of occupancy for public use. To this end, the FOYF Board at that time raised $18,000 by hosting a Preservation Ball.

During the summer of 2006, FOYF self-financed the replacement of the failed floor joist structure under the Caf

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  1. elviscostello
    Posted February 10, 2008 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I’m curious…How did the Freighthouse qualify for a Homeland Security Fire Act Grant? I thought those grants went to Fire Departments to upgrade equipment, programs, etc… I’m not opposed to the Freighthouse, in fact, I remember taking my infant son there to the Farmer’s Market and listening to music. I’d love to see it turned into a restaurant, meeting place, etc…But this grant seems a bit strange to me, not only what it provided, but the funds it came from.

  2. egpenet
    Posted February 10, 2008 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The reasoning, I believe, is that the freighthouse is owned by the city.

  3. MaryD
    Posted February 10, 2008 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the update. It is heartening to hear about some progress.

  4. elviscostello
    Posted February 10, 2008 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    OK, because the Freighthouse is owned by the city, any grantmonies can be used for anything they deem necessary? It still doesn’t answer the question.

  5. mark
    Posted February 10, 2008 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    The Freighthouse, I’m assuming, would act as our own little Gitmo.

  6. Vera
    Posted February 10, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Note to arab-self- Stay away from “new” Freighthouse if they are advertising fresh figs or dates.

  7. amazed
    Posted February 11, 2008 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I think it is OK unless there are falafels being promoted….

  8. egpenet
    Posted February 11, 2008 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    The important thing is to distinguish between a date mahmul and baglawah with walnuts. My North African dry rubs on prok and chiecken are to di for. Avoid critter carcasses in the road … IEDs are too profound.

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