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Labor and Economic Opportunity

State historical architect to present in-depth report on Thunder Bay Island Light Station

Media Contact: Misty Miller
517-373-1858 |

March 8, 2018
Alpena, MICH. – A new report that analyzes the current condition of Alpena’s 186-year-old Thunder Bay Island Light Station, its history and recommendations to guide future work will be presented during a public meeting of the Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse Preservation Society (TBILPS) on March 20.

“Offshore light stations like the one on Thunder Bay Island are difficult to visit and not easily visible to the general public,” said Bryan Lijewski, AIA, licensed architect with the State Historic Preservation Office at MSHDA. “Through a partnership with OX Studio and Smay Trombley Architecture, we created a Historic Structure Report (HSR) to evaluate the Thunder Bay Island Light Station, provide a solid plan for future rehabilitation and collect important historical information.”

Lijewski will be co-presenting the discoveries from the HSR with Michelle Smay, owner of Smay Trombley Architecture. Their presentation includes an in-depth look at the history and development of the light station, rarely seen old photographs and images of the station as it is today. Current challenges facing TBILPS and potential solutions will also be discussed.

The HSR was made possible by creatively utilizing grant funding from SHPO’s Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) and partnering with lighthouse stewards to apply for—and receive—a National Maritime Heritage Grant from the National Park Service in 2015.  The MLAP grant was funded entirely through the sale and renewal of specialty Save Our Lights license plates

“Everyone is invited to come learn more about Thunder Bay Island Light Station and how you can get involved with its rehabilitation and preservation for generations to come,” Lijewski said.

The TBILPS public meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Alpena Township Hall. More information is available at

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit