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City to Relaunch Inventory Kalamazoo Historic Resources Survey in 2021

Project to document Kalamazoo’s historic buildings will resume after year-long delay due to COVID-19

In March, the City of Kalamazoo will relaunch Inventory Kalamazoo, a city-wide historic resources survey to document the condition of every building in the City. The project originally started in early 2020 but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To complete the historic resources survey, the City of Kalamazoo and the Historic Preservation Commission are asking for volunteers to help photograph and document the existing condition of every building in the City that is visible from the public right of way. Volunteers will use a smart phone or tablet when surveying buildings on their street or in their neighborhoods and can complete the survey at their convenience between March 15 and the end of May.

Community members who are interested in volunteering can learn more by visiting the Imagine Kalamazoo project page at www.imaginekalamazoo.com/projects/inventory. The project page includes an overview presentation with background on the project, field instructions that explain how to complete the survey, and a volunteer sign up form. The City of Kalamazoo’s Historic Preservation Coordinator, Sharon Ferraro, will reach out to those who have signed up to determine street assignments and distribute volunteer materials. Each volunteer will receive an Inventory Kalamazoo backpack, stylus, and informational letters that explain the survey to neighbors that may have questions. Volunteers can either use a tablet provided by the City or their own device to survey if they have a smartphone or tablet that can run the survey software.

In addition to building data, Inventory Kalamazoo volunteers will also help collect information on the condition of sidewalks and street trees. This will help inform tree canopy data for the City and plan future sidewalk repair work. Data collected through the Inventory Kalamazoo project will also help inform neighborhood planning efforts that are underway. 

“The survey will rely on volunteers to help with this inventory, surveying in your own neighborhood or getting to know another neighborhood across town,” stated Sharon Ferraro, the City of Kalamazoo’s Historic Preservation Coordinator. “Find a friend and get outside in the fresh air, doing something that’s both interesting and helps our community. Kalamazoo will be the only city in Michigan with a comprehensive, city-wide survey.”

Volunteers will be required to wear masks when interacting with others and are advised to be cautious and follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when surveying such as social distancing, frequently washing or sanitizing hands, covering coughs or sneezes, and staying home if they are feeling sick or have been around anyone exposed to COVID-19. Volunteers are also reminded to dress warmly, check the weather, and plan ahead if surveying in cold weather.

About Inventory Kalamazoo

The City’s 2025 Master Plan calls for a complete survey of historic buildings and resources to record and evaluate their condition. This inventory will not automatically impact any historic designation of properties but will serve as a baseline of understanding for potential historic designations initiated by the neighborhood and other planning projects. This survey will also allow the City to fulfill its requirement as a Certified Local Government (CLG), a State certification that makes the City eligible to apply for grants from the CLG Grant Fund, as well as satisfy obligations to the State Historic Preservation Office and the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

The last inventory of this level was completed between 1999 and 2001. Moving forward, the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan calls for an updated Historical survey every 10 years. For more information on this project please visit the Imagine Kalamazoo website at www.imaginekalamazoo.com/projects/inventory/

Mobile Nuisance Party Commnity Town Hall Scheduled for Monday, February 22

Community members are invited to join a community conversation to discuss plans to address mobile nuisance parties in 2021 and beyond. During this town hall, there will be presentations from the Department of Public Services and the Department of Public Safety. Residents can also provide feedback on the City’s plan for addressing these situations in 2021 and beyond.

WHAT: A town hall meeting to discuss a plan to address mobile nuisance parties

WHEN: Monday, February 22 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Electronically via zoom:https://zoom.us/j/96854042122, or call (269) 552-6425 and enter meeting ID 968 5404 2122. 

City of Kalamazoo to open warming center near Mills Street encampment Friday, Feb. 5

With the forecast calling for frigid temperatures starting this weekend, the City of Kalamazoo is opening a temporary warming shelter for the city’s unhoused population on Friday, Feb. 5 at 7 a.m. The warming center will be located on a city-owned parcel near the homeless encampment by Mills Street and Riverview Drive.

“Through collaboration with our community partners, including the United Way and the Kalamazoo County Continuum of Care, we were able to act quickly and stand up this temporary warming shelter to help keep these vulnerable members of our community safe and warm during these sub-zero temperatures,” said Jim Ritsema, Kalamazoo City Manager. “We are incredibly thankful that our partners and local volunteers stepped up to ensure we are able to meet the needs of our community.”

In compliance with the City’s Extreme Temperature Emergency Response Plan, the warming shelter will remain in operation as long as temperatures are below 5 degrees, or the wind chill is below zero. The temporary warming shelter will be equipped with heating and capacity to accommodate 60 people.

In addition to Kalamazoo’s temporary warming shelter on Mills Street, other community partners are assisting during this extreme cold weather event:

  • The Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries continues to have capacity to house men, women and families overnight, and will open their facility during the day to provide warming areas.
  • The River Church continues its daytime warming and service center on Ransom Street and will expand their services to be open on the weekend.
  • Ministry with Community is providing services as a daytime warming center, including providing ‘to-go’ breakfast and lunch for those unable to enter the building due to reduced capacity in compliance with social distancing requirements.
  • Integrated Services of Kalamazoo is now operating 25 rooms at the former Knights Inn and is currently serving more than 40 individuals at that location. ISK continues to work daily to prepare additional rooms for occupancy.

The warming shelter will be operational and staffed by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety 24 hours a day.

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


 (269) 337-8000
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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