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Emmanual Mann's Country Home

A heroic rescue saved the owner, but this historic home may be doomed.

In October, Ann Arbor fire chief Mike Kennedy presented commendations to five people who'd rescued an elderly man from a burning house in September. The "civilian lifesaving awards" recognized three young men touring the town after a U-M football game, and a father and daughter on their way to the airport. Both groups spotted the fire on S. Main and stopped to help.

The Eyesore on W. Washington

For years, people who pass by the former Washtenaw County Road Commission site across from the Ann Arbor Y have wondered why something hasn't been done to what is universally agreed is an eyesore. The buildings haven't been touched since 2007, when the city departments located there moved out. The grounds are a mix of broken cement and dirt.

The city would like to see something built there, but there are a number of ob­stacles. For starters, after more than eighty years of housing trucks and fuel, the soil and water table are contaminated.

The Story of the Walker Livery and Taxi Business




Ann Arbor Taxicab & Transfer Co.
From an envelope of the Ann Arbor Taxicab & Transfer Company 

Lima Center Interurban Station



Janice Stevenson, owner of Wackenhut Gartens, says people often guess that her store at Jackson and Lima Center roads was originally a church or a school. A former resident reported that people often knocked at his door thinking it was the township hall.

Community High School

Community High School (CHS) is an alternative public high school serving grades 9-12 located at 401 North Division Street in Ann Arbor's historic Kerrytown District. It was one of the first magnet schools to arise from a nation-wide wave of experimental schools that drew on the social movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was specifically influenced by social and political activism in Ann Arbor at the time.

Endangered Pentastar


A unique structure on Ann Arbor's west side is for sale and its ultimate fate unknown.

Naylor Motor Sales' five-sided showroom on W. Stadium is based on the "pentastar," the logo comprised of five triangles that Chrysler introduced in 1962 to represent the five brands it sold at the time--Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Imperial, and Dodge trucks. "I hoped Chrysler Corporation would adopt [the showroom design] and make me famous, but that didn't happen," says architect Ted Smith, who designed it in 1965.

The Many Lives of Burns Park


Olivia Hall's savvy land swap created a park, a school, and a neighborhood.

Today, Burns Park and its namesake school are surrounded by family neighborhoods. But 150 years ago, they were the back pasture of J.D. Baldwin's fruit farm.

In 1876, Baldwin sold his house on Hill St. (still standing at the corner of Washtenaw) and seventy-eight acres to Israel and Olivia Hall. The west side of the property bordered the county fairgrounds, then at the corner of Hill and Forest.

Modern History


Kristine Bolhuis and John Holkeboer saved a blighted Midcentury Modern home—and a neighborhood.

The couple—she's a jeweler, he's an audio producer—are fans of the sparse, clean-lined Midcentury Modern style. When they moved from Ferndale to Ann Arbor in 2011, they were delighted to find a vintage MCM house in Thornoaks, a small subdivision off E. Huron River Dr.

The only problem was the house next door. It was "in bad shape, complete with boarded-up windows, weeds and moss on the roof, and various animals coming and going at will," Holkeboer says.

Trinity Lutheran, 1893-1993

Its founding signaled Ann Arbor's growing diversity

Mack School

Parent ID

Mack School

For seventy-five years, it's served a changing neighborhood

In September 1922, when the new Mack Elementary School opened, its location at the corner of Miller and Seventh was on the edge of town. In the seventy-five years since, it has gone from being Ann Arbor's newest school building to its oldest. And as subdivisions steadily filled in the farmland to the west, Mack has been transformed from the city's most rural school to its most urban.