Volunteers needed to preserve a piece of history

Photo courtesy of Main Street Calumet The Schindler Building, on Fifth Street, in Calumet, has served the community in a number of capacities over the past 128+ years since it was built by Anna Schindler, widow of Gottlieb The Schindlers came to Calumet in 1867. According to the 1877 Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory, Gottlieb was listed as a shoemaker. He passed away in Jan. 1882. His widow subsequently built, owned and operated the building, 423-425 Fifth Street.

CALUMET — Main Street Calumet is seeking volunteers to work on preparing a historic structure in the Historic District of the village for further rehabilitation work, particularly having a new roof put on the building that has been dubbed the Schindler Building.

On February 2, 2023, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced that the Houghton County Land Bank Authority, in partnership with the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, was awarded $100,000 through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to support stabilization of the historic sandstone Schindler Building at 425 5th Street. The building has been the subject of a multi-year effort by the Bring Back Calumet initiative and various project partners to save the building from collapse and return it to productive use. The building is part of the Calumet Historic District, which is listed in the National Register and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Calumet Main Street Executive Director Leah Polzien said that the stabilization is in the form of a new roof.

“They’re not just re-roofing,” she said. “They’re putting a whole new roof system on.”

This will include new materials such as joists, decking, engineering and labor necessary to constructing an entirely new roof on the building.

“That whole thing is going to be re-done,” said Polzien, “not putting a rubber membrane over it.”

Polzien said that before roof construction can begin, however, there are tasks that need to be done as stipulated by SHPO. In order to accomplish those tasks, the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) and Main Street Calumet are coordinating work bees to accomplish these tasks. The work bees will occur during the week of Monday 25-29, at various times, and volunteers can set their own schedules and days. The tasks necessary are:

• Set shoring posts and tighten shoring hardware;

• Interior wall demolition and debris removal;

• Installation of floor sheeting 2nd floor;

• Installing air vents 1st floor;

• Material transportation – pick-up truck required – a.m. only;

• Drain fuel oil tank and bring to transfer station.

Polzien said the work sessions are tailors to accommodate the largest work crew possible. Anyone interested in volunteering can learn days, times, schedules and details for volunteering on the Main St. Calumet facebook page.

Additional questions can be addressed to Jeff Ratcliffe, at KEDA, by email at Jeff@kedabiz.com or call (906)482-6817.


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