Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Historic Preservation Tax Credits in Michigan - and Trout Lake

Print Friendly and PDF Birch Lodge,Trout Lake, MI May 2010

The federal and state historic preservation tax credits were a significant incentive in our decision to undertake the restoration and renovation of Birch Lodge. As such, we were part of a larger movement to reinvest in old buildings and participate in heritage tourism.

Birch Lodge Foundation Work

Birch Lodge Under Rehabilitation

According to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, in just over a decade of the State's historic preservation investment tax credit $138 million dollars in credits have been approved, which led to 36,000 jobs and leveraged direct investment on these credits of $1.46 Billion. For every credit dollar tax payers are getting $10.56 OF DIRECT INVESTMENT. Because Michigan's historic credits are tied legislatively to a similar federal historic credit, the Michigan credit has leveraged $251 Million in federal funds - federal money returning to Michigan, at a time when the State really needs it.

Birch Lodge Roof Replacement

The historic preservation tax credit process consists of three parts: 1) verification by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) that your building is historic (eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places); 2: construction plans approved by the SHPO - generally, those that meet the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation that focus on retaining historic elements of the building; and 3) post-construction documentation and approval of the final product by the SHPO. After the process is completed, all approved work qualifies for a combined 25% credit on taxes owed
(20% federal and 5% state).

Birch Lodge Power Wash and Painting

We are in progress using these tax credits to rehabilitate the "Birch Lodge Sanitarium and Summer Resort", now Birch Lodge and Motel - eligible for tax credits because it is list on the National Register of Historic Places. We have invested tens of thousands of dollars of our savings with the objective of receiving tax credits.

The reasons we undertook this project include our special relationship with the lodge (and former owner Ann Badgley), love for old buildings, and commitment to Michigan. We are using the past to invest in the state's future. In our own small way we hope we can contribute to Michigan's economic recovery and evolution to a more diversified economy.

It has already had an impact. Last year we were a major employer in Trout Lake with all the construction and clean-up required on our property. Specialists we brought in from outside the area also spent earnings at local businesses. After we re-open we will also be providing jobs for the depressed local economy. Unfortunately, both our proposed renovations and economic impact will be reduced if the state program is eliminated, as slated under the proposed state budget.

Birch Lodge Refenestration and Residing

Thus far we have completed exterior renovations, and as you can see from these "Before" and "After" views, I think we are making good progress. Of course, we would certainly appreciate it if you would stop by and tell us you agree with us in person!

Birch Lodge - Before
Birch Lodge - After


  1. I am really happy that you have redone the Birch Lodge. I spent a few summers there when I was little because my family is from Trout Lake. It looks great now!

  2. I too anam thrilled to see this beauty restored and loved once again. I spent lots of time visiting this lodge/motel/cabins as a child and it holds many wonderful memories. God bless you and the restoration you're putting into it.