Michigan Historic Preservation Network


Annual preservation conference transitions to a virtual gathering. Our programming remains the same – great sessions, plenary, keynote, workshops, tours! Click brochure image for details.  

MHPN’s 41st Annual Statewide Conference

Connections: People, Pathways, and Preservation

May 13-16, 2021

Holly, Michigan



 MHPN’s 40th Annual Statewide Conference 


Monday, September 21 & Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Against the backdrop of our host community of Kalamazoo, Michigan

For one great low price of $125, you can attend the entire conference.($75 for students and seniors)

We look forward to seeing you in September!

Proposals Sought in the Following Areas:

  • Conference Theme 
  • Preservation Basics/Information
  • Applied Skills/Deeper-dive Case Studies
  • Surprise Us

In many ways, the history of Holly is like the history of many Midwest communities—indigenous people created many of the trails, like the Saginaw Trail, and used many of the waterways that shaped the community and County we know today. Mills were built in the 1840s, the railroad first came through in the 1850s, and Holly became the first railroad junction in Michigan in 1864. As many as 25 trains per day were stopping in Holly at the peak of rail travel, and Holly businesses catered to these travelers with hotels, saloons, and shops. The downtown architecture still reflects this era of prosperity.

In the 1970s, preservation-based economic development took hold, and Holly became an early adopter of a local historic district ordinance. Today, Holly is a thriving small town with a vibrant Main Street and several preservation efforts underway. The preservation-based Main Street approach continues to be the economic development strategy in use in Holly and in many communities in Oakland County today. We have many Main Street successes from which to learn, and we examine new approaches to the challenges we all face.

  • What will preservation-based economic development look like post-2020?
  • How are members of underrepresented communities preserving their stories and significant places, and how can preservationists at large shine a light on these efforts and broaden and diversify the field of historic preservation?
  • How can we preserve rural landscapes and farmsteads that add character to communities but are threatened by development?

Let’s connect with each other through Holly in 2021!

Thank You to Our 2020 Conference Sponsors

Each spring, the Network sponsors the state’s only annual statewide preservation conference to provide training and networking opportunities geared to both beginners and seasoned preservationists. This year, the event was postponed from May to September.

In keeping with the conference theme of “Preservation on the Frontline,” our sessions – brought to you in real-time – offer the latest news and information from around the state. The opening plenary focuses on strategies for breaking down barriers that keep underrepresented communities from participating in preservation. This timely emphasis continues as our keynote speaker explores how architecture and urban design – and especially historic buildings – can contribute to an equitable and racially-just world. Our usual array of workshops and the tours in our host community round out the program.

While our festive evening activities and popular features like the Vendors’ Showcase and Preservation Marketplace will be missing this year, they’ll be back.

Each spring, the Network sponsors the state’s only annual statewide preservation conference to provide training and networking opportunities geared to both beginners and seasoned preservationists.

In addition to offering sessions with the latest news and information from around the state, the conference is known for its keynote speakers, festive evening activities, and annual auction of Michigan items ranging from overnights at historic bed-and-breakfasts, to antiques, books, and gourmet delights.

Among the many features of the gathering is the Vendor’s Showcase, which provides an opportunity for the general public to view the latest products and services in the preservation industry.

Vendor Showcase and Market Place, Holland, 2019
VIP Reception, Holland, 2019
VIP Reception, Lansing, 2018
Tour, East Lansing, 2018

Conference Brochures

2020 Conference Brochure - Preservation on the Frontline_Page_01
Held Virtually in September 2020
Holland, 2019
East Lansing, 2018
Emmet County, 2017
Detroit, 2016
Midland, 2015
Jackson, 2014

MHPN Conference History