ERA Architects

Silver Birches

Built between 1906-1912, Silver Birches is a well-loved landmark on the remote north shore of Mackinac Island in Michigan. The Lodge is a rare example of an Adirondack-style Arts & Crafts log hotel and is included on the State Register of Historic Sites. After withstanding a century of extreme Lake Huron weather, Silver Birches and its outbuildings had fallen into disrepair. In 2014, the client sought ERA’s expertise in restoring the buildings while adhering closely to their original style and spirit.

The success of the project depended on a deep understanding of the owner’s vision for the site. Achieving this vision involved testing multiple options and often providing mock-ups for client review. This close collaboration ensured that while the buildings were upgraded and made comfortable and robust for 21st century use they retained their historic character.

ERA led the restoration and design work with support from a local firm. ERA developed plans, details and selected sympathetic material finishes for the buildings.

ERA coordinated consultants, met regularly with the owner and the project team, and reviewed construction progress to ensure the design intent was followed precisely.

All work was in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Photos courtesy of Bradley McCallum.