Shelden Avenue Historic District, photo taken 1987
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Shelden Avenue Historic District
Shelden, Lake and Montezuma avenues, Houghton - Houghton County
Property Type commercial
Historic Use COMMERCE/TRADE/business
Current Use COMMERCE/TRADE/business
Style Classical Revival
Commercial Style
Late Victorian
Architect/Builder Charlton, Gilbert and DeMar
Henry L. Ottenheimer
Narrative Description Located along Shelden Avenue and other adjacent streets in downtown Houghton, the Shelden Avenue Historic District encompasses the historic core of Houghton's central business district containing one of the Upper Peninsula's finest collections of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century commercial buildings. Commercial structures, lodge halls, municipal buildings, a movie theater, warehouses, and a railroad passenger depot are all found within the district. The buildings range in age from the 1870s to the 1980s, with the majority dating from the 1880s to 1920s. Architectural styles represented include vernacular, gable-roofed commercial buildings, high-style Late Victorian commercial, Richardsonian Romanesque, Sullivanesque, Renaissance and Neo-Classical Revival, and Prairie School. Between one-story and four-stories in height, the buildings use materials unique to the area including waste rock from local copper mines and red sandstone.
Statement of Significance The Shelden Avenue Historic District was built up largely between about 1880 and 1910, at the height of the copper boom in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and reflects the prosperity that Houghton, at the center of the Portage Lake mining district, attained during the boom period. The district contains the western Upper Peninsula's largest concentration of architecturally significant historic commercial buildings. Nearly all of the key buildings were designed by architects from outside of the immediate area -- from Detroit, Chicago, and Marquette -- during the area's late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century period of growth and development. The district's building stock is also notable for its characteristic use of red Jacobsville sandstone for trim or entire structures.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1883-1911
Registry Type(s) 12/30/1987 National Register listed
Site ID# P23266