Before the snow flies, take a walking tour of several historic homes on and near Center Avenue

The Center Avenue Historic District and touring its seemingly endless rows of homes both along Center Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods is a fascinating way to spend a few hours on a sunny day. Along the way, you’ll learn about architecture and local history. This fall, Route is taking you back to the leaf-covered sidewalks and streets of the district for a third time to admire more historic architecture and learn local history. In 2020 and 2021, Route Bay City has offered our readers several historic architecture walking tours. In November 2020, Route Bay City detailed our first self-guided walking tour of the Center Avenue district. That route lines up perfectly with our May 2021 tour of another section of Center Avenue. Cross the river and you can stroll through the historic Midland Street district in a tour outlined in December 2020.

The history of the USS Edson, docked in Bay City, includes ghosts, 9/11, and two museums

Since 2012, the USS Edson DD-946 has been docked along the Saginaw River as the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum Before arriving in Bay City, the ship had a remarkable history and service record dating back to the 1950s. Over its 30-year U.S. Navy career, it had seen numerous awards and commendations for its service, was part of another museum at one time, and may even be haunted The ship is named for Major General Merritt Austin Edson of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1897-1955. It is one of the few destroyers named for a Marine Corp. veteran and is a Forrest-Sherman class destroyer.

Q&A with Nicole Luczak, the United Way of Bay County’s new CEO and Executive Director

The United Way of Bay County didn’t have to look far to find the best woman for the job as United Way of Bay County’s new CEO and Executive Director. On July 1, Nicole Luczak transitioned from her role as Associate Director of the charitable agency to Executive Director. She succeeds Marybeth Laisure, who announced her retirement about a year ago. Since January, Michael Bacigalupo has served as the interim director. Luczak is a Central Michigan University alumnus and has been active in Bay County and the region for over a decade.

Bay County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority hopes to spur cooperation and economic growth

When Laura Ogar looks at an abandoned gas station or empty factories in Bay County, she doesn’t see blight and decay. Instead, she sees the possibility for community growth in the form of new businesses, jobs, and family homes. Ogar, Director of Bay County Environmental Affairs and Community Development, is working to make this vision a reality. She’s part of a team of people across Bay County who envision a bright future for the community. Earlier this year, the Bay County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution authorizing a county-wide Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) by the end of 2021. BRAs determine which properties are eligible for re-development and identify financial incentives that could attract developers.

Hobbyists restore a classic 1938 Packard and a vintage 1935 airplane to their glory days

Bay City’s James Clements Airport has incredible history and big plans in store. Inside its hangars, gentlemen such as Mark Staudacher and Andrew Kolak put time into their passions to keep history alive. At the airport, Staudacher has restored a rare piece of aviation history: a 1935 WACO YOC Custom Cabin ‘sesquiplane’ — where the lower wings are smaller than the upper wings. Fellow pilot Kolak has changed his focus from airplanes to restoring classic cars, including a 1938 Packard Victoria V12 convertible 3-speed.

Dow Bay Area Family YMCA one of nine Michigan organizations recognized as a Hometown Health Hero

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Dow Bay Area Family YMCA to close its doors for much of 2020, but the organization kept serving the public throughout the closure. The YMCA partnered with area organizations to provide food, outdoor exercise classes, and a safe place for kids to learn during the pandemic. This month, the state Department of Health and Human Services recognized the YMCA with a Hometown Health Hero Award. The Bay City organization was one of nine in the state to earn the honor.

Walking through Bay City’s Center Avenue district takes you back in time

In 2020 and 2021, Route Bay City offered our readers two historic architecture walking tours. In November, Route Bay City detailed our first self-guided walking tour of the Center Avenue district. That route lines up perfectly with this one, if you want to walk a little farther. Cross the river and you can stroll through the historic Midland Street district. While you’re walking, read about the history of a few buildings in this area in a Dec. 3 article. Before you embark on those earlier tours, though, here are five additional examples of the wonderful history and beautiful architecture of Center Avenue and the adjacent neighborhoods. As most of these homes were built prior to cars, they are best observed at slow speeds or standstill.

Artist uses his professional role to expand the arts community in the Great Lakes Bay Region

Travis is the Director of Choral and Orchestral programs for the Midland Center for the Arts overseeing the choirs and the primary administrator for the Midland Symphony Orchestra. Working closely with the conductor and staff for the Center for the Arts, he helps plan out the Midland Symphony Orchestra season and day-to-day operations such as working with the conducting staff to plan rehearsals for choirs and conducts some himself.

Q&A: United Way of Bay County Interim President & CEO Michael Bacigalupo

Michael Bacigalupo has been formally involved with the Bay City non-profit community since he started his role as chief operating officer of the State Theatre in 2006. Since then, his roles have grown to include director of the Historical Museum of Bay County, special events coordinator for the City of Bay City, managing Wenonah Park, helping to manage the Drydock Beer Garden, and between 2013-2016 he simultaneously managed the Temple Theatre in Saginaw along with the State Theatre.

New United Way of Bay County program offers financial help to quarantined families of young students

When COVID-19 forces a child out of the classroom and into quarantine, parents have to choose between going to work and helping with school. For low-income families, missing a day of work can be devastating. That’s why the United Way of Bay County created a Quarantined Student Assistance program for the families of students in Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade.

Hopevale Church partnering with Bay City agencies to address food insecurity

Hopevale Bay City’s new campus pastor hopes to bring change to the community. Hopevale Church formed in Saginaw Township in 1959. Since then, it’s grown and expanded, adding a Bay City campus in 2018. Earlier this year, the church hired Campus Pastor Nate Murray to serve in Bay County. Murray has big plans for the church to serve the community, beginning with a food distribution later this month.

Historic Midland Street retains its 19th century character

For more than a century, the district has been a vital part of the community. Before 1905 when West Bay City and Bay City merged, the Midland Street district was the heart of West Bay City. Electric street cars and horse-drawn carriages buzzes through the streets, crossing the Third Street Bridge to move back and forth between the two cities. Lumbermen working for the Sage and McGraw sawmill and their families shopped along the main thoroughfare and strolled through adjoining neighborhoods.

Take a self-guided, sidewalk tour of five historic homes in Bay City

There are many reasons to love Bay City: its amenities, waterfront, entertainment, and quick access to both urban lifestyles and nature escapes. Whether you live here or are just visiting for a few days, it’s worth taking a few moments to appreciate the beautiful variety of architecture on display in Bay City. Many of Bay City’s finest homes go back to the early days of 19th Century when lumber barons were building mansions and wealth. A little later, 20th Century industrialists settled here and continued the tradition of building impressive homes.

History of the James Clements Airport

Drive along M-13 between Bay City and Saginaw and you can’t miss the James Clements Municipal Airport. The Class B General Aviation airport is owned by the City of Bay City. One of the most notable structures at the airport is the Neo-Georgian Administration building designed by local architect Joseph Goddeyne — best known for the Bay County Building. Since 1982, the Administration Building has been on the National Register of Historic Places.
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