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Northville’s News and Lifestyle Magazine

Down On Main Street

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SUPPORT THE ‘VILLE I started The ‘Ville because I felt our community needed a publication focused on … our community.


JULY 2018

16435 Franklin, Northville, MI 48168 • 734.716.0783 •

Unlike traditional magazines, however, we do not charge a subscription fee. We mail directly to every household and business in Northville, because that model offers our advertisers the best bang for their buck. And advertising is ultimately what pays the bills. Building an advertising base takes time and persistence. So, in the meantime, your financial support will help us get over the hump, and insure local journalism is here to stay. Send us $5, $10, $20 or any amount you can, and we will list your name in an upcoming issue as being a supporter of The ‘Ville and local journalism. Because LOCAL matters. Please send checks, cash or lucky charms to: Journeyman Publishing 16435 Franklin Northville, MI 48168

KURT KUBAN – Editor/Publisher

Kurt Kuban is an award-winning journalist, having served as a reporter and editor for several local newspapers and magazines, including The Northville Record, over the course of a career spanning more than two decades. Kurt lives in Northville with his wife, Cheryl, and their three children, who all attend Northville Public Schools.

CRAIG WHEELER – Creative Director

Craig has been in the creative industry for over 25 years. He has developed a diverse background in that time, but publication design has been his passion during the past 16 years. Craig enjoys cycling, running, wine tasting, his beloved Boston Terrier and an unhealthy addiction to movies.

JOHN HEIDER – Photographer/Writer

John Heider, 53, was the The Northville Record and Novi News photographer from 1996 until 2017. He lives in Ann Arbor and enjoys fishing, hunting, gardening, cooking, feature writing, woodworking projects and the symphony.


Michele Fecht is a longtime journalist whose first post-college reporter position was at The Northville Record before moving on to The Detroit News. A 30-plus year resident of the City of Northville and historic (old) house owner, she is an author, researcher, local history enthusiast, and community activist/advocate.

Thank you!




Here is a list of people who contributed to local journalism last month. We appreciate your support! Nina E. Burkman

Kirt Manecke

Edward and Kathy Huyck

Raymond and Patricia Martin

Bill and Pat Longley

Regina and Sharkey Mingela

Heather Knight

Tom and Jan Valade

Judy and Jim Kohl

Roger and Diana Wallace

ADVERTISE The ‘Ville is mailed directly to every address in Northville – nearly 21,000 in all. To advertise contact us at:

Wensdy graduated with a degree in journalism from Wayne State University. Her first job was working as a reporter for The Northville Record. Now, as a freelance writer and editor, she works for a variety of magazines, and is excited to get back to her roots in The ‘Ville. -Photo by Kathleen Voss


Maria has edited Michigan History and The Active Learner magazines and reported for The Northville Record, Novi News, and Farmington Observer and (currently) BNP Media. She lives in Farmington and, as a self-avowed history nerd, routinely risks her life by standing in the middle of Grand River to take photos of old buildings.

P.A. RECH – Photojournalist

Photojournalist P.A. Rech ( has shot images around the world for news organizations and magazines, documenting life from urban strife to Capitol Hill. His editorial and corporate work is diverse, including: National Geographic; HOUR Detroit; Associated Press; CNN and others. When not on the streets, he’s out giving his all to the American Red Cross.

JENNY PEARSALL – Graphic Designer

Jenny has been in the design and print industry for more than 20 years, holding various positions in graphic design, large format and trade show graphics, print buying, production and print management. One of her favorite memories is working for Colorquik Graphix in the historic Water Wheel building in downtown Northville.

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A View From The ‘Ville

‘Respect and Renew’


y now, many of you have probably heard the City of Northville shot down a local developer’s plans to demolish a pre-Civil War building located on Main Street. More specifically, the Historic District Commission lived up to its mission – to protect the city’s most historic structures from the whims of developers. Historic District Commissioner Tom Gudritz said it best: “It’s this commission’s responsibility to speak for the resource that can’t speak for itself.” There’s no doubt that the old building at 341 E. Main, while a bit tattered, meets all the guidelines for historic preservation. It was built before the Civil War, and served as a boarding house both for the Yarnall Gold Cure Institute and Henry Ford’s Northville Valve Plant, among other uses over the generations. Can you imagine the tales the walls could tell if they could talk? We’ve been following this story for months now, as the process has played itself out. And I have to say, I’m a bit surprised the commission stuck to its guns, considering the pressure local developer Guidobono Building Company mustered up. Guidobono, who says the building is not worth saving, wants to tear it down, and, in its place, build a three-story, 12,000-square-foot building with offices on the first floor and condos above. I have no doubt the building Guidobono is proposing would be nice, and probably even an

asset to our downtown. But the trade off isn’t worth it. Like the Historic District Commission, I just think demolishing a piece of our history would be too great a loss. We cherish our history in this town, evidenced by the overflow crowd that showed up at the June 20 HDC meeting to fight for the old building (page 10). But by no means is Northville stuck in some historical time warp that is holding us back. In this issue on page 13, for example, you will read about Manfred Schon, CEO of Up2Go, which is a local company that provides cutting edge project management software to automotive suppliers. Schon just worked with the city to bring two new electric vehicle charging stations to the public parking lot behind his office at 120 W. Main Street. He hopes this is just the first collaboration with city leaders that will lead to Northville adopting technology for a more sustainable future. Schon leads by example. In addition to sponsoring the two EV charging stations, he and his wife Lisa have been busy converting their nearly century old home on Rogers Street off of

fossil fuels. They now rely on geothermal and solar energy. At the same time, they take great care to maintain and enhance the architectural elements of the home so it still resembles what it looked like when it was built in the 1920s. They call the process “Respect and Renew” and Schon sees plenty of applications for the city as well. In essence, the Schons have one foot in the past and one in the future. For me, that pretty much sums up Northville. Kurt Kuban is editor and publisher of The ‘Ville. He welcomes your comments at kurtkuban@gmail. com or (734) 716-0783.

Your Voice: Letters 4 Concerts bring Town Square to life

The Dude Abides HDC saves pre-Civil War Building

12 Past Tense: Early merchants offered sidewalk shopping 14 Maybury’s 1860s farmhouse getting new lease on life 20 City loses a ‘great friend’ in John Argenta 24 Out & About 26 ‘Old Timers’ walk down memory lane 29 It’s Your Business: Jamey Kramer Group 30 Dishin’ With Denise 32 Developers make pitch for Main Street School property




The Mustang Way


The ‘Ville 3

Your Voice A great publication

I love The ‘Ville. It is a great publication! Beautiful presentation, love the historic articles and everything about it. You have very talented writers. We’ve lived in Northville since ’79; had my business downtown (The Kitchen Witch) from ’87 thru the end of 2005 and feel so blessed to be part of this community. Keep up the good work! Ronnie Cambra Northville

Keep the local news coming My husband and I enjoy reading The ‘Ville and wish you lots of luck keeping it going. We don’t subscribe to the local newspaper anymore because it struggles to fill its pages with local news. Here’s to not running out of things to report on in Northville. Regina Mingela Northville

Preserve some space

Regarding ideas for the Northville Downs development I feel the downtown Northville area needs more open area and green space. Right now there is only the open courtyard area where concerts are held (Town Square). What’s missing is open green space for walking, meeting and enjoying. What’s NOT needed is more residential development in the Downs area. Five hundred additional homes/ apartments - really ? And all in that 1/2 mile area with one already very busy intersection at rush hour. This would be an additional 500 – 1,000 Photo by Cormac Phalen cars based on 1 -2 cars per family. What’s needed is like Mr. Carl Giroux stated in a previous letter to the editor – open up the river that’s under it, put in a walking path using the current oval track to honor Northville’s harness racing history. What a great tribute and gathering area that would be. Bring in trees and make it a park-like setting. Gloria Hubberth Northville

SOUND OFF 4 The ‘Ville

Traffic will be a nightmare

I live in the area of 8 Mile and Meadowbrook roads, and am frequently in downtown Northville, either driving or cycling. We all already know how backed up Center Street gets, especially starting around 4 p.m. I use Sheldon south to get to M-14, and try to ride the path up Sheldon to Plymouth as much as possible, and have only once braved riding Beck between 8 Mile and 6 Mile when the traffic is heavy (dangerous is an understatement).  Most of us know the terrible shape that Sheldon (and Beck) is in between Seven Mile and Five Mile. With the plans to add a huge development to Center Street and Seven Mile will make the traffic problem, already difficult, a nightmare. What is being considered to help manage that impending problem? Larry Gunsberg Northville

How much more traffic can we have?

As a commercial real estate broker and appraiser and 19-year resident, the development of Northville Downs has some concerns for me. With the current development of the areas you mentioned in the May publication, and the additional traffic plus the traffic issues we already have on Sheldon, Center, Seven Mile, and Beck roads to name a few. I think the density of the development is extremely important. It should not be about tax dollars, but a long-term perspective as to what would leave a legacy of a well-planned 48 acres as it will impact Northville for decades. At issue is our roads - in poor condition already – and the fact our town on weekends is full. Not to mention weekends like Memorial Day, etc. How much more traffic can we have? A larger “park” area with the river opened for people to kayak or just walk with the families should be incorporated in the plan. Density has to be carefully reviewed. Ron Wallis Northville Township

Please submit your letters by emailing Editor Kurt Kuban at Letters must be 150 words or less. We reserve the right to edit all letters.


for Northville Township Voters August 7, 2018 is the date of the Michigan PRIMARY Election. The Primary Election ballot is PARTISAN and voters may only vote for ONE party’s candidates. If you vote in more than one party, your ballot will be spoiled. Vote in one party category only.

POLLING LOCATIONS FOR NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP VOTERS Moraine Elementary School – Precincts 1 & 2 Northville High School – Precincts 3 & 4 Township Hall – Precinct 5 Winchester Elementary School – Precinct 6

Meads Mill Middle School – Precincts 7 & 12 Silver Springs Elementary School – Precincts 8 & 9 Ridge Wood Elementary School – Precincts 10 & 11

• BEFORE ELECTION DAY: Confirm that you are a registered voter and where you vote by calling the township’s voter registration hot line at 248-662-0541, or check • Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close promptly at 8:00 p.m. • ALLOW SUFFICIENT TIME FOR VOTING: Avoid the busiest times of 7 to 9 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. • You must be in line, with an application to vote at 8 p.m. (Precinct inspectors and local clerks do NOT have the authority to keep the polls open past 8 p.m.) • Bring your photo I.D. or be prepared to complete an affidavit that you are not in possession of your photo I.D. You MAY vote without photo I.D. by completing the affidavit. • Clearly and legibly print your name and date of birth on the Application to Vote and inform the inspector of any name change, address changes, or hyphenated names. You can use a pre-printed label with your address, if you have one with you. • The DEADLINE for an Absentee Ballot to be mailed is the SATURDAY prior to every election. The township clerk’s department is open for this purpose from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Saturday prior to Election Day. OPEN: Saturday, August 4, 2018 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. • Visit the Township website at for: – Interactive precinct map, voter registration info, absentee ballot info, sample ballots

HDC members voted unanimously to deny the demo request.

Guidobono spokesman Ed Funke speaks to the HDC and makes his case for demolition.

More than 80 people attended the public hearing.

Kathy Bilger comments on the need to preserve the building.

REPRIEVE! 341 E. Main Street

Commission denies demolition permit for pre-Civil War building By Maria Taylor


fter a two-hour public hearing before a standingroom-only audience, the Northville Historic District Commission (HDC) voted unanimously on June 20 to deny developer Guidobono Building Co.’s application to demolish the historic structure at 341 E. Main Street – a process that has dragged on for almost a year. The historic house at 341 E. Main dates from pre-Civil War days and was used as a boarding house for the Yarnall Gold Cure Institute, then for workers from Northville’s Ford Valve Plant. Guidobono purchased

6 The ‘Ville

the 2,400-square-foot building in December 2016, with the stated intent of remodeling it as its company offices. Once the project began, however, the company said structural issues were uncovered, including sagging floors, rotting rim joists, a leaky roof, and an unstable foundation. They proposed tearing it down and constructing a three-story, 12,000-square-foot building with offices on the first floor and condos above. The demolition request process has been fraught with setbacks, including a public hearing in December that

was cancelled after a rarelyused clause in the historic district ordinance required the developer to offer the building for sale before further action was taken. A for-sale sign went up in March. On June 20, more than 80 people crowded the city chambers for a public hearing, prior to the HDC’s vote on the fate of the historic building. The hearing lasted two hours. “Our structural engineer said that with the deficiencies of the building, his opinion is that it should be removed,” said Guidobono spokesman Ed Funke. “Precedent has been

set with the demolition of the building two doors down. “It’s not that we are at all against preservation, but the building and our reasons for wanting to tear it down meet [the HDC’s] criteria,” Funke continued. Bill Stockhausen, vice president of the Northville Historical Society and the first of 20 Northville residents to speak, said Guidobono’s rationale for demolition – that keeping it is not in the community’s best interest, and that it’s a safety hazard – was made on “shaky grounds.” “As for the first, I think it’s

pretty plain,” he said, gesturing to the standing-room-only crowd. On the second issue, he reminded officials that two citycommissioned architectural studies concluded the structure was sound. He also took issue with developer’s attempt to sell the house for $699,000, a nearly 50 percent increase from the price Guidobono paid. The house received no offers, and Stockhausen said it wasn’t a good-faith effort. Jennifer Luikart, a former historic district commissioner, was one of several asking to let the data decide. “I listened [in the past] to a

empathize with the Guidobono group and what they’re up against [in terms of cost],” he said. “Those of us in this room have been through it. But if they’re not able to make this work, someone else will.” Keeping Northville’s historic feel was a priority for Kathy Bilger, chair of education, programs, and archives with the Northville Historical Society. “I’m from Livonia,” she said. “And Livonia comes here to shop. They come to Northville, they come to Farmington, they come to your farmers market. It’s the historic charm that draws them in.”

Local historic preservationists were happy with the HDC's decision.

Northville Downs, which he said will bring an estimated 500 residential units for people looking for modern living in historic Northville. Paul Snyder, Northville Historical Society archivist, addressed an article in the Northville Record, where Funke said they’d offered to pay for moving the building to Mill Race and then build an identical one at 341 E. Main – and that the offer was rejected. “I’m the archivist; acquisitions come through me,” said Snyder. “We received nothing in writing.” “My question to Ed (Funke) is: Why would you move a house that is structurally unsound?” queried Kathleen Switalski When it was their turn to

Jennifer Luikart (left) and Jackie Dobson both spoke at the public hearing

homeowner cry about why she wanted this home so badly,” she said. “She didn’t understand that my remarks had nothing to do with her, but everything to do with the district and the obligation I had as a commissioner to preserve and protect the district. Opinions don’t matter. The standards and guidelines that govern the commission are what matter.” Many of the speakers owned historic homes themselves, like Scott Lowry, who moved to Northville in 1989 and restored a home at Baseline and Grace. It took 8 years – and more money than it cost to purchase it. “We

Without 341 E. Main, there’d be only one contributing historic Kathey Bilger holds up a land survey document created for building on Henry Ford. that block: the hair salon next door, pointed out Bob Sochacki, speak, the six commissioners a historical society member. echoed the community’s “And then what happens when comments. he comes back and says they “It’s this commission’s need that building for parking? responsibility to speak for the “The applicant argues that resource that can’t speak for there’s pent-up demand for itself,” said Tom Gudritz. “It’s modern residential units,” he historic not only for its age, but continued, pointing out several also because of the purposes new developments including it’s served in the community.

It’s not only historic: it’s meaningful.” Commissioner David Field acknowledged that preservation has both a price and a payoff. “I don’t think that historic preservation and business progress are mutually exclusive,” he said. “We can preserve Northville and attract business. Do we make the market smaller? Sure – but that’s what we accept as part of our DNA as Northville.” For Chairman Jim Allen, denying the demolition at 341 E. Main was a clear choice. “It might be a hazard to someone’s pocketbook, but it’s not a hazard structurally,” he said. “The building by the side of the road that ‘nobody cared about’ — it turns out that quite a few people do care about it, after all.” For many in the audience, the decision came as a surprise. “For me, I’m watching these original, distinctive buildings be torn down... I didn’t know I could effect change,” said Jennifer Moss. Switalski agreed: “I think the most important message sent tonight was, we do have a voice.” With demolition no longer an option, Allen said Guidobono has several options for 341 E. Main. “They can appeal the decision to SHPO [the State Historic Preservation Office], look to sell the building, or rehab the building or do a small modification,” Allen said.

The ‘Ville 7






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on the boundaries of the district, specifically the noncontributing structures or parcels (vacant lots) at the edges of the historic district. Committee members discussed eliminating approximately 40 non-contributing properties along the district’s edges. The Dexter-based cultural














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leader at the June 12 meeting to review the first draft. The survey project, which kicked off in March, has an extremely tight window for completion by September. Robinson shared with the committee that currently Northville’s contributing to non-contributing ratio of historic district properties is 60/40 with only 60 percent contributing. “I’d really like to see about 80 percent contributing within the district,” she noted. Committee discussion at the June meeting focused







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Northville’s Historic District Study Committee will reconvene at 7 p.m. Monday, July 23, in City Council Chambers to review the second draft of Northville’s Historic District Survey. Commonwealth Heritage Group presented the first draft of the 894-page document — a comprehensive, intensive-level survey of Northville’s 144-acre historic district — to the sevenmember committee last month. “It has taken a Herculean effort to get this to the point it is at,” said Elaine Robinson, Commonwealth’s project team



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Historic District study process moving along

µ 1 inch = 400 feet Geographical data provides a spatial representation only. The City of Northville and Northville Township do not assume any damages or liabilities due to the accuracy, availability, use or misuse of the information provided. PU BL IC AT IO N D ATE : JANUARY 24, 2018

resource management firm’s survey will culminate in a Historic District Survey Report providing new historical and architectural information to help in local planning as well as completion of a new National Register of Historic Places nomination to update the data in the federal register.


Dude Abides

Meet the man behind Northville’s new EV charging stations By Kurt Kuban


anfred Schon isn’t your typical CEO. He walks to work, drives an electric vehicle (when he’s not walking), doesn’t believe in business cards, and has an affinity for Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, the main character from the 1998 cult film, The Big Lebowski. After spending more than two decades working in the automotive industry, Schon founded his own firm, Up2Go, in 2009 with Doug Fiorani. The company is headquartered in downtown Northville, and also has several offices in Europe. Up2Go provides cloud-based enterprise applications primarily for global Tier-1 automotive suppliers. Schon, 58, believes in creating a sustainable future by utilizing technology to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible. He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk – and not just to work. Schon and his wife, Lisa, have been weaning their 90-year-old downtown Northville home off of fossil fuels by utilizing solar and geothermal energy, while also preserving its architectural integrity. Schon, a German citizen, is also responsible for downtown Northville’s two new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, located in the parking lot behind the Up2Go office, located at 120 W. Main (next to Starring The Gallery). Schon spearheaded the project with the City of Northville

and electric carmaker Tesla, and will provide the electricity for up to two years for the charging stations. The stations Manfred Schon using one of the new EV charging stations in the parking lot behind were unveiled to his office at 120 W. Main Street. the public at a June 28 ceremony attended by Schon’s team officials to try get some focus in their strategy and city officials. He hopes this is just the on technology. In the future, for communities beginning. He is working with the city and to attract people, whether for office reasons DDA to incorporate other future-oriented or for work, the ability to support that with technology. current technology is going to be essential. We had the chance to catch up with Schon Look at what we are doing with our home. and asked him a few questions. We call the project ‘Respect and Renew.’ We The ‘Ville: Can you explain what have a hundred year old house. Our goal is to Up2Go does? keep the house architecturally intact while SCHON: By using social networks, we providing it with energy and other technology connect people to their work and make it updates. We have geothermal heating and easier for them to collaborate on projects. cooling, and a solar powered water heater. There is a lot of demand these days for less The city could be incorporating the same hierarchical structures, more flexibility from technology. where you work, and when you work. What The ‘Ville: You have an affinity for the we do supports that. For example, our office film The Big Lebowski, especially The is more a social gathering place than a work Dude. Why? place because we don’t need to go physically SCHON: I’m a huge fan. I could probably anywhere to work. Going to the office is really quote the entire movie. I just think there just for human interaction. is a good line for every situation in life The ‘Ville: In addition to the in that movie. I think it’s his (the Dude) EV stations, do you have any other simultaneous laid backness and intensity. collaborations with the city in mind? They are both present almost at the same SCHON: I’m working with Northville time. He’s laid back, but he’s also intense about what he believes in and what is right or wrong. I think the way the character stretches those two extremes is really interesting. March 6, which is the release date of the movie, is actually a holiday in our company. ‘Dude Day’ we call it. We meet at the office, drink White Russians, watch the movie, have lunch and then go bowling. I would love to bring a Lebowski festival to Northville. For more information about Up2Go, please visit

Schon and his Up2Go team cut the ribbon with city officials at a ceremony for the new EV charging stations on June 28.

The ‘Ville 9

TUNES ON TUESDAY Family-friendly concerts bring Town Square to life Erika Liska with her daughter Ally, 2

Photos by John Heder


April Lavier puts her all into a hula hoop contest. Sisters Autumn, 5, and Samantha Kerr, 3

othing says summer quite like an outdoor concert. And there will be plenty in Northville’s Town Square – right in the heart of our downtown. Most locals are familiar with the Friday Night Concerts, a summertime staple featuring a wide variety of music each Friday evening from 7-9 p.m. though Aug. 24. Depending on the week, Town Square will come alive with everything from Motown and soul, to classic rock and even jazz. For those who like their music a little more stripped down, the DDA created a new concert series this year on Wednesday evenings in Town Square featuring all acoustic music. The shows run through Aug. 29 and feature some very talented acts, including Jill Jack on July 25. However, the most popular summer concerts – at least with the younger crowd – are the Tunes on Tuesday shows, which begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 28. The family-friendly shows put on by Northville Parks and Recreation are a perfect chance to get outdoors and enjoy some music and other entertainment geared towards the kiddos. The ‘Ville photographer John Heider braved the raucous crowd on June 26 when DJ Chris Clark spun the tunes and got the kids to participate in some fun activities like a hula hoop contest. It was a packed house – or should we say packed Town Square. Here’s the upcoming schedule: July 17 – Palamazoo July 24 – Stephanie Wicke July 31 – Earth Angels August 7 – Eugene Clark August 14 – Rick Kelley August 21 – Kevin Devine August 28 – Guy Lewis The shows are rain or shine. In case of rain, head to controlled climate of Genitti’s Hole-in-the-Wall Theatre a block away on Main Street. For more information, visit For more information about the Friday or Wednesday concerts, visit

10 The ‘Ville






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Jason Jones speaks to the school board about Main Street School.

Developers Make Their Pitch School Board gets first look at Main Street School proposals

By Maria Taylor


ith Northville Public Schools offices opening this fall in the newlyrenovated Old Village School, the NPS Board of Education is considering proposals for redevelopment of their former location next door at 501 W. Main Street. At their June 26 meeting, the school board held a public hearing to get some initial feedback from board members and the community. The Main Street School isn’t “Victorian” like the Old Village School. It’s midcentury modern architecture, dating from the mid-1930s. Its architect, Maynard Lyndon, studied under Albert Kahn. At the time it was built, the school was viewed as cuttingedge design, and was featured in a Museum of Modern Art exhibition on school architecture built with a child’s needs and well-being in mind.

12 The ‘Ville

The Main Street School property for sale is divided into five lots: four on Main Street and one on Cady. Two additional lots on Cady are being retained for parking and are not for sale. NPS put out a request for proposals this spring, giving developers three options for the property: - Purchase the 43,610-squarefoot building and all five lots to repurpose the existing building. - Purchase all five lots after the school district demolishes the building. - Purchase one or more of the lots after the school district demolishes the building. Eight proposals were received; one dropped out. Three of the bidders opted to build houses. One proposed a partial demo for condos, and two proposed renovating the building for apartments. The final bidder was the Northville Public Library, which wants

space for parking. Bill Bowman, Great Northern Consulting, the school board’s consultant in the sale of the property, explained the proposals at the June 26 meeting:


Guidobono Building Company offered $1.825 million for all five lots to build five single-family homes. If the school district were to sell a lot to the library, they’d propose $1,460,000 for the remaining four lots. “They’ve been building high-end projects in Novi and surrounding areas since the 1970s,” Bowman said.


Old Village LLC (Mike Miller and Greg Morad) offered $1.7 million, or to beat any price up to $1.752 million, to build four singlefamily homes and a park on the five lots. They also offered to pay the school district a

non-refundable $400,000 for building demolition. “They’re local guys; they do a lot of work in the Northville area,” Bowman said. “They have buyers in hand. They’ve got commitments from existing Northville families to purchase the homes.”


Brett Russell/Design House offered $1.75 million to buy all five lots and build 20-25 condos: three stories high, parking underneath, and a parking lot on the fifth lot that would be shared with the library or school district. “They would keep the front façade and some of the side of the building so we could have some of the memories of the school,” Bowman said. “They would be responsible for that selective demolition.”


Curtis Building offered $1.405 million to build highend apartments, similar to the

company’s Starkweather Lofts school renovation in Plymouth. The proposal didn’t include many details, Bowman said, except that the developer may need the fifth lot for parking.


DW Development, Hosey Development, Tekton offered $1.2 million, contingent on a $1 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, to renovate the school into 35 luxury apartments and 52 parking spaces. The project would include restoration of the existing façade and preservation of some of the historic interior. The developers submitted details on the school’s historic significance and indicated they would work with the historic district commission. “It’s literally the first or second ‘modern’ school in all of the United States,” said developer Jason Jones, who spoke at the meeting. “So having the conversation that we’re going to demolish not only a building of this significance, but a

building of this significance that’s in as good of a condition as it is, frankly, as a student of architecture, it's very unpleasant for me to hear.” Jones and his business partner, former NFL player Dewayne White, are selfproclaimed advocates for historical development: “We’ve done $100 million worth of stuff in the last three years, including a school,” Jones said. He also mentioned that demolition could bring down the costs of environmental remediation and lead and asbestos abatement, as well as “potential litigation concerns regarding pursuit of demolition over the wishes of the Historic District [Commission], who I’m pretty sure won’t love it.”


Malloure Family LLC offered $1.25 million for two single-family homes and a park, to be named by the family and kept up by the city. If the library purchased lot 5, they’d build one home and the park. City

Members of the school board listen to proposals for Main Street School.

administration has discussed the park idea but has not committed to it, Bowman said.

$400,00, Bowman estimated. The school board agreed to consider proposals based on net financial return to the district The Northville Public (including demolition costs), Library offered $300,000 ability to close the sale (i.e., does for lot 5 only, to create the applicant require multiple approximately 30-40 parking zoning changes from the city), spaces, according to Alan availability of financing to the Somershoe, president of the applicant, and how the site plan library board of trustees. interacts with the Old Village Currently, the school School property, along with property is zoned R-1B any other concerns from board (residential) members. and allows for “We prefer a maximum of the simple five singleto the Which of the proposals would you family homes. complicated,” like the school board to approve for Highersaid Matthew the Main Street School site? Please density Wilk, email your opinions to Editor Kurt Kuban at residential treasurer, could be “because the permitted, subject to approval complicated has more risk of from the Historic District not occurring.” Commission. “If the entire About 35 people attended the building is preserved, the hearing, and four spoke. density of any project will be “There’s no other issue that higher [because of the layout],” will affect my quality of life Bowman explained. or the value of my property Demolition of the school than what we’re talking about building would run about tonight,” said Mary Elwart Keys, who lives across the street from the school. “In one word: parking. Parking affects the traffic; parking is traffic. To have such density in that buildout across the street just really is horrifying to me.” Jennifer Luikart said she’s not against multifamily housing. “I have a 21-year old-who asked me, ‘Will I ever be able to afford to move to Northville?’ and I said, ‘Probably not,’” she said. “Northville is gentrified... I want seniors here and I want young people here, and that’s not happening now.” The school board also held a meeting on the topic July 10 at Hillside Middle School. The board is expected to make a decision this fall.



The ‘Ville 13


Curb Appeal

Early merchants offered sidewalk shopping By Michele Fecht


he Northville Central Business Association’s annual sidewalk sale (July 27-28) is the one time each year when businesses can display their wares on city sidewalks, offering shoppers an opportunity to snag merchandise at clearance prices. Keeping in the sidewalk sale spirit — who doesn’t love a good bargain? — we offer a glimpse of early sidewalk sales. Yes, this was long before ordinances curbed selling merchandise on downtown sidewalks. It was mostly Northville grocers who took advantage of bringing their goods outdoors. Fry Brothers & Company at 76 Main Street (approximately

where Genitti’s is today) offered a variety of household goods as well as a well-stocked grocery carrying everything from canned foods to oysters. Fresh produce included pears, potatoes, pumpkins, root Fry Brothers & Company at 76 Main Street. Photo courtesy of Michele Fecht. vegetables and cabbage the size of basketballs. grocery delivery. grocery stores in Detroit from Fry Brothers advertisements The photo accompanying 1880 to 1906 before moving in The Northville Record this story was taken sometime to Northville and taking highlighted their Saturday night between 1897 and 1902 by occupancy in the Ball Store photographer C.A. Blair of Building, named for one-time Northville owner C.J. Ball. whose name He bought out Sidewalk Sale is stamped on the dry goods The Northville Central Business the back. To stock of Henry Association Sidewalk Sale hours are the left of the Johnston and 10 a.m to 8 p.m. Friday, July 27, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 28. photo is a sign opened for for Miss Jennie business on Burt, Christian Scientist, who September 15, 1906. occupied space in the upper Oldenburg and his family level of the building. lived in an apartment above the Fred Oldenburg was not the store until a fire in 1913 forced first grocer to occupy 140-142 them to move to 537 Randolph. North Center Street (Lorla’s Oldenburg continued his and the former Painter’s Place) grocery business until 1917. — formerly 79 North Center — After selling his store stock, but he was one of the longest he bought a Watkins route tenured grocers on the site. for door-to-door sales of J.R. A German immigrant who Watkins’ natural apothecary came to the United States in products. In 1919, Oldenburg 1872, Oldenburg operated moved back to Detroit. Fred Oldenburg, on the right, in front of his grocery, circa 1911. Photo courtesy of Joe Oldenburg.

14 The ‘Ville

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Mustang Way Athletic success is contagious at Northville High School

By Kurt Kuban Years from now, when people look back at Northville High School ‘s recently completed 2017-2018 school year, they will marvel at the incredible success its athletic programs enjoyed almost across the board. Under the leadership of Athletic Director Bryan Masi and a talented coaching staff, the Mustangs thrived in the very competitive Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA), winning eight division crowns and five conference championships. The Mustangs also made an impact at the state level, with one state championship team, two runner ups, and 13 teams that finished in the Top 10. We had four regional champions and another two district

16 The ‘Ville

champs. The Mustangs were also recognized at the individual level, with 62 athletes named to All-State teams.

standards are high, regardless what sport it is, according to Masi, who has been in charge of NHS athletics for 15

The boys golf team finished the regular season 13-0 and won the KLAA championship.

While a lot of other schools probably marvel at this success, it is nothing new for those inside the program. The

years. Winning has become the standard, he said, largely because winning is contagious. “We are in a position where

we feel we’re going to compete for state championships in multiple sports in any given year,” Masi said. Some of the highlights this year included the girls tennis team winning its third state championship in four years under the leadership of Head Coach Linda Jones. The team was led by senior team captain Shanoli Kumar, who was recently named Miss Tennis, an award given annually by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association. The girls cross country team, which is a perennial top five finisher under coach Nancy Smith, was state runner-up, after being edged out narrowly by Troy at the state finals. Perhaps the biggest surprise

this year was the gymnastics In 2017-2018, the moto was team, which, after notching “Mustang Mentality.” a perfect 10-0 regular season “We’ve really tried to record and winning a district cultivate a family atmosphere, title, finished second in the so we can lean on each other. state. We take pride in that. And our The school supports 30 kids see that and they buy into it different sports (14 for boys as well,” Masi said. and 16 for girls), and a total of When Linda Jones took 62 teams at the varsity, junior over as head coach of the girls varsity and freshman levels. tennis team five years ago, her There were nearly 1,100 student goal was to make the team the athletes who participated most competitive in the state. during the That’s why 2017-2018 she always school year. schedules Masi said regular the school has season duals, been blessed quads and with some invitationals incredible against the athletes, best teams in but the key the state. It to winning has paid off. has been The team won his ability its second to hire the straight state right coaches, title this year, which wasn’t and third in always the four years. The girls track team finished 5th in the case. “We don’t state. “When I shy away from first started as AD, I felt I had playing the best. It gives the to hire coaches with the most girls confidence and knowledge knowledge and experience,” when they play against the same he said. “I quickly learned, players and teams in Midland however, a coach who has (location of the state finals). It great relationships is more has made a big difference,” said important. That’s not to say Jones, who coaches the team they aren’t knowledgeable, but if they know how to relate with the kids and develop relationships, they will be very successful.” WINNING ATTITUDE Each summer, before the new school year, Masi has a group meeting with all the coaches. They talk about their successes, their failures, and how they can improve as a whole. They also come up with a new motto that they carry through the year.

The girls basketball team poses with their district championship trophy.

with her husband, Dan. Jones, a 1970 NHS graduate, said coaching for the Mustangs is a dream come true for her. Her father, Wilford Wilson, also graduated from NHS in 1940, when they picked the school

The girls tennis team won the state championship, led by Miss Tennis Shanoli Kumar (above).

colors and fight song that are still used today. “I’m black and orange through and through,” she said. Coach John Kostrzewa has been developing that Mustang pride and winning attitude since he took over the baseball program 14 years ago, though he’s been with the district since the late 1990s. He said a lot has changed since the move to the new high school in 2000. “I came from the old high school. The dynamic of the school has changed quite a bit since the move. In fact, the whole town has changed. We’re now competitive in every sport, which wasn’t always the case,” said Kostrzewa, who is a physical education teacher at the high school. The baseball team is certainly competitive under Kostrzewa’s leadership. A year after losing in the state championship game, the team finished this season with a 33-8 record, winning division and regional titles. The team was six outs away from playing in the semi-finals this year, before imploding in the 6th inning against Brother Rice. “We had a total breakdown, giving up nine runs in one inning. We had not given Mustangs continued on page 18

The ‘Ville 17

Mustangs continued from page 17

up nine runs the entire tournament,” he said. Kostrzewa, who was inducted into the MHSAA Hall of Fame this spring for his coaching, said Masi should get a lot of the credit for the school’s success. “Once Bryan came onboard and put his people in place, things have changed. There has been a limited amount of turnover among the coaches, which has made a real difference,” he said. “We all push and challenge each

great teammates. And that goes for everything in life. That’s led to our continued success – year in and year out,” he said. SCHOLAR ATHLETES By comparison, the football team had a disappointing season, finishing with a 3-6 record. It was Coach Matt Ladach’s first losing season since he took over 10 years ago. The team suffered several late collapses that led to some tough losses, which Ladach said was uncharacteristic of his teams. However, he expects a big bounce back next season,

The baseball team after winning its regional championship.

Ladach, who teaches health and physical education at the school, also noted the fact that NHS produces some outstanding student athletes. These aren’t a bunch of ‘dumb jocks’. Just the opposite. Ladach and all the NHS coaches put a premium on academic

When I first started as AD, I felt I had to hire coaches with the most knowledge and experience. I quickly learned, however, a coach who has great relationships is more important. That’s not to say they aren’t knowledgeable, but if they know how to relate with the kids and develop relationships, they will be very successful.”


other. We also considering the all support JV team went Northville High School won plenty each other. undefeated of championships in 2017-2018. Here is a breakdown of the And that’s under Coach school’s athletic success: important.” Mark Mandell. Kostrzewa Ladach said KLAA Gold Division 8 Championships believes the the foundation reason his of his KLAA Conference 5 Championships program is program has successful is always been District Championships 2 because he hard work, 4 Regional Championships teaches his discipline and athletes first great attitude, 2 State Runner-ups and foremost and that will State Championship (Girls 1 Tennis) how to be good never change teammates and regardless of Teams finished in Top 10 in 13 state good people in the record. general. “You can’t Teams recognized as All-State “We’ve always control 16 All-Academic always built talent, but you 62 All-State Athletes it around can control teaching them effort. I can to be good teammates. You can’t promise you, we will outwork be a great team unless you have every team we play,” he said.

18 The ‘Ville

Bryan Masi NHS AD

Mustang is pretty incredible.” Masi also gave props to the school’s booster clubs. The parents are just as much part of the program as the kids are. He noted the boosters raise a lot of money, which is a godsend considering the state has cut a lot of education funding over the years. “It’s a shared responsibility. We have parents who help work games, work concessions, and so much more,” he said. “We have about 800 home events each year. We just couldn’t do it without their help.” Masi is looking forward to what the 2018-2019 year will bring. He realizes there are high expectations, because that’s what success breeds. But he’s ok with it. “I think those high expectations are a good thing to have. It’s what challenges our kids and our coaches,” he said. It’s just the Mustang way.

success, as well as community involvement. In fact, 16 NHS teams were named All-State All-Academic, which is an incredible number. “Being in the building every day, I get to see a lot more of our students than our other coaches get to see. I can tell you that it’s not easy being a student athlete in our district because the academic standards are so high,” Ladach said. “I think the pride our student athletes take The gymnastics team was the state runner-up after finishing in being a the regular season 10-0.

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A Real Fixer Upper Maybury’s 1860s farmhouse getting a new lease on life By Maria Taylor


t the dawn of the 20th century, the city of Detroit was booming. And with that boom in manufacturing came side effects: overpopulation, poor sanitation, disease. The city’s health care system struggled to keep up with demand. So in 1919, the city of Detroit embarked on a massive health care complex: William H. Maybury the Maybury sanatorium, a hospital in Northville Township for people suffering from tuberculosis, or as many called it, the “white plague.” It offered patients fresh air, a school, treatment centers, and fresh food and dairy from Maybury’s working farm.

20 The ‘Ville

The farmstead at Maybury was built around 1860 by Robert Blackwood. It was one of eight farms bought up to create the Maybury sanatorium – so named for William Maybury, who headed up the project. And when in 1930 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis himself, he chose to spend his final months there at the farmhouse, where he had devoted so much of his life’s work. While the last patients left the sanatorium in 1969 and the barns burned down in late 2002, that farmhouse still stands today. And it’s getting a new lease on life. “Everyone knows the white

This undated photo shows the farmhouse in better days.

farmhouse off 8 Mile Road,” said Matt Kosmowski, board co-chair at the Northville Community Foundation (NCF), which runs Maybury Farm. “It’s one of the oldest original pieces of the property that still stands from when the farm started in the 1800s.” Now, after 10 years of being sealed up and off limits, the old farmhouse is about to serve the community once more.

A BIG DECISION The NCF decision to renovate the Maybury farmhouse was prompted by a boom in activity at Maybury Farm. “It’s always been on our radar to do something with the house,” said Kosmowski. “We’ve taken some major leaps and bounds in the past year or so in bringing the farm up to speed” – things like hiring a farm director and crafting an updated focus – “and we were

at a point where we thought we could take on that challenge. Seeing the farm grow at the level it did gave us the courage to tackle the farmhouse.” The need for new space was certainly pressing, as Cindy Kern, farm director, can attest. And while Northville farm animals have lived in barns without heat or running water since the days of the settlers, it’s a whole different story for today’s Maybury volunteers. “We had no year-round plumbing or heat, so when we were out here in the winter caring for the animals, it was really tough,” she said. “There

designation, meaning it was no longer protected as a historic property. So when considering new admin space, NCF had a choice to make: renovate the farmhouse, or tear it down and rebuild. “Before I got involved, it was just mothballed and basically questioned whether it would be better to tear it down,” said Dean Sutton, owner of Howellbased JDS Historical. “Cindy had me come over and look at it.” Sutton estimated it would take about $90,000 to do the project, and laid out the case for restoration to the NCF board.

commitment to investing in the future of the farm. It requires constant investment to keep it running – and one of those investments was the farmhouse.” The NCF Some of the volunteers take a break with one of the farm's board put permanent residents. up the first $20,000. The rest is being raised of carpeting, padding, all the through private and corporate years of nails and staples, to donations. get to the original wood floors. There were plants growing in the basement... you couldn’t see Raccoons had been living in there – we literally chased them out. The upper where the bottom steps were. floors, we had to rip out plywood, layers of carpeting, padding, all the years We scraped up, cleaned up, shop vac’ed.” of nails and staples, to get to the original wood floors. There were plants And what they found growing in the basement... you couldn’t see where the bottom steps were.” underneath was worth uncovering. Dean Sutton Contractor “I think the coolest aspect is the handrail,” said Sutton. It’s “Not that “We can’t afford to go into original to the house, made of they were debt: this is ‘as you go,’” Kern bent-formed wood, complex terribly hard said. So far, that number’s up to and ornate. “When you go to convince,” $60,000. “We’ve had everything upstairs, even people who don’t he said. “It’s from $5 donations to a $25,000 know [it’s original], they’ll look this awesome, donation,” she said. Someone and notice it,” he said. “People viable place donated a 1934 coal- and like me who deal with historic that can wood-burning stove. Many have stuff, they go ‘holy crap, how is showcase donated their time and talents: that possible, with the life this farm history painting, cleaning, and doing house had?’” – it literally basic repair work. On the outside, the house will is what the look relatively the same: just community WORTH FIXING refreshed. Maybury Farm allows children to get up close and personal foundation Although the bones of the “We’re keeping the wood with the farm animals. does: farming house are still solid, the place [siding] exterior,” Kern was one little heater in the feed and community. It was just a was in pretty rough shape when explained. “It will be sanded, room; if you were really cold, little bit of work, and cheaper work started, according to repainted, and kept white.” The you could warm up in the car.” than trying to build a new Sutton. new hunter-green metal roof is There was no indoor bathroom: learning center.” “If you’ve ever watched probably the biggest expense, only a cold outhouse. Plus, Kern Once NCF committed to the the show American Pickers, she said. While there aren’t had no office space: she was project, they went all in. it was just like that,” he said. any photos showing whether working out of her own home. “Our desire was not only to “Raccoons had been living or not the original house had When the barns at Maybury restore it, but to restore it with in there – we literally chased burned in 2002, the farmstead historical accuracy,” said Kern. them out. The upper floors, we Maybury continued on page 22 lost its official historic “The foundation has made a real had to rip out plywood, layers

The ‘Ville 21

Maybury continued from page 21

a metal roof when it was built, it’s period-appropriate, and it can last 40-50 years. Painting and roofing will probably be completed this summer, Sutton estimated, depending on fundraising. Inside the house, work is about 90 percent complete. “There’s still work that needs to be done in here, but it’s a working space,” said Kern. “We’re able to make copies, have Wi-Fi.” And key infrastructure, like ducts, a heater, and a water softener, have been taken care of. Room layout will remain the same, although most of the rooms will have new and updated uses. The dining room is now the conference room. Upstairs bedrooms are office space; Kern’s office is downstairs, with a big painting of a cow over the fireplace. There’s also bathrooms, a volunteer break room, and in the very back, a late-1800s “summer kitchen,” where the antique stove from Kalamazoo Stove Company will be displayed.

“It’s so original,” said Sutton. “It’s still got the cupboards and pantries from when the place was built. When you walk in, it will be a really good example of what a kitchen looked like back in the 1870s.” There’s a 21st-century kitchen, too, which Kern said will be used to further extend education programs like farm camp. “Kids can help harvest, then come in and make recipes with things from the garden: salsa, salad,” she said. Kern also has plans to renovate an extra attic room into a bedroom/ bathroom suite so that interns from local agricultural programs can live there over the summer. The biggest challenge with the project, Sutton said, was maintaining a reasonable budget while keeping everything authentic. Reusing old materials went a long way in that regard. “We specialize in doing repairs that look like they never happened: dealing with the floors without ripping them out, finding salvaged wood,” he explained. “We had to pull off the old porch – some sort of cobbled-together mess

that someone did later on. We salvaged that siding, then went around the house and cut out little sections that were bad and were able to repair it in a certain way so it doesn’t look so obvious.” FARM FOR THE FUTURE Once the restoration is complete, the farmhouse will become NCF’s new office, replacing their space leased from the Chamber of Commerce building on Main Street. Kern said the transition is part of NCF’s five-year strategic plan, which includes increased focus on the farm. “Interest in the farm has grown significantly in the past three years,” she said. In 2017, overall attendance was up 40 percent over the previous year. The Farm Fest, which historically drew around 300400 attendees, had 1,000 people last year and 2,000 this spring. And farm camps, usually at 70 percent capacity by the end of the season, are already sold out. “I think it’s a response to the investment we’ve made and also where we’re at in this country,” Kern said. “I think we’re starting to understand, as consumers, that we have to be Some of the volunteers who have been restoring the old farmhouse.

22 The ‘Ville

responsible for sustainability of our food sources.” Maybury Farm provides that opportunity, she said. “For example, many of us eat a lot of chicken, and to simply produce it as cheaply as possible... that attitude creates abuses in the system,” she continued. “When you come here, you can hold a chicken, realize that it only lays one egg a day, see everything a chicken needs to live: pasture space, water, and it helps to connect us to our food and fiber... Not everyone is going to become a farmer, but everyone will become consumers. It’s really powerful.” Kosmowski said that restoring the farmhouse helps achieve that goal. It’s akin to getting back to basics. “It’s what started it all. Everything that went out on the farm would end up back in that farmhouse. If it wasn’t for the farmhouse, the sanatorium wouldn’t be what it was. And our farm today wouldn’t be called Maybury,” he said. “We want to get back to that point.” For more information about Maybury Farm and the efforts to restore the farmhouse, visit

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Northville Loses A ‘Great Friend’ City pays tribute to architect John Argenta By Michele Fecht


he standing-room only crowd that filled Northville City Hall’s council chamber at the Historic District Commission’s June 20 public hearing was absent one important voice. Architect John Argenta, who lost his battle with cancer

Signage System,” said DDA Director Lori Ward. “He was very, very involved through the design phase and then prepared the specifications for the bidding process and even staked the sign locations.” Ward echoed Allen’s remarks in noting that Argenta was a tireless volunteer. “He never said ‘no’ when I asked him for help or to join a committee. Not once,” she said. “The city lost a great friend when John Argenta died,” stated Mayor Ken Roth at the Northville City Council’s June 4 meeting. “John was a longtime contributor to the city on many, many levels and really loved the city.” A city resident since 1982 and a member of Our Lady of

John tirelessly donated his time to the betterment of Northville. If a volunteer was needed, John would be Allen, Chair, the first to raise his hand.” Jim Northville Historic District Commission on May 27, had long occupied a seat on the HDC as well as a multitude of other city commissions and boards over several decades. His absence on June 20 was palpable. Before the public hearing, Commissioner Joe Hoffman asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of Argenta, who served as a voting member of the commission since March 2011. He was first appointed to the HDC in December 2010 in a non-voting advisory position. “John tirelessly donated his time to the betterment of Northville,” noted Jim Allen, Historic District Commission Chair. “If a volunteer was needed, John would be the first

24 The ‘Ville

to raise his hand.” Argenta, who spent 45 years as an architect with CDPA, Inc., not only shared his expertise with the HDC but also as a member of the Board of Construction Appeals, a position he was appointed to in 1989 and continued to serve until his death. He also served on several committees of the Northville Downtown Development Authority including the Strategic Planning Committee, Economic Development Committee and Design Committee. “I think his most visible influence in the downtown was his leadership of the Wayfinding

Victory Church, Argenta, who was 77 when he died, had a passion for history, art, music and cooking. In addition to his devotion to Northville, he also was an ardent supporter of his native City of Detroit. “He loved Detroit and was so tickled it was going through a resurgence,” said Ward. Argenta was a graduate of Detroit Catholic Central High School and received a degree in architecture from the University of Detroit. CDPA’s 2005 design of Catholic Central High School’s Novi campus was a point of pride for Argenta. “He was an immensely talented architect and loved, loved, loved working with

Catholic Central. He was so proud of that campus and those kids,” Ward said. Roth noted that Argenta’s commitment to his city service transcended his battle with cancer. “As he was struggling the last year or so through his illness, I think he may have missed only one meeting,” Roth said. Allen added that Argenta “was a joy to be around. He had a great sense of humor and was continually upbeat. This was evident during the past few months of his life as he was losing his battle to cancer. He maintained his wonderful outlook and continued to live and share his life as if nothing was happening to him.” Ward, who considered Argenta a friend as well as a professional colleague, said she misses his shared passion for soccer, architecture and urban design as well as his samples of pasta and risotto that he brought to her office.

City seeks architect for seat on HDC

The City of Northville is accepting applications for qualified volunteers to fill the vacant architect position on the Historic District Commission. Applicants must be a resident of the City for at least two years, a registered voter, and have a professional degree in architecture plus at least two years of full-time experience in architecture or a state license to practice architecture. Other details of the position are available on the City’s website at Applications are available on the City’s website or at the City Clerk’s Office, 215 W. Main Street, Northville 48167.

Testani heads to the bench Y

ou can now officially use the phrase “Your Honor” when addressing Northville Township resident Carla Testani. On May 31, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Testani to fill a vacancy on the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County. “Carla has had a distinguished legal career, during which she has been actively involved in service to the profession and to her community,” Snyder said. “I am confident she will be an asset to the Wayne County bench.” In addition to serving as vice chair of the Northville Township Zoning Board of Appeals, Testani had been a private practice attorney since 1999 and more recently a partner at

the Northville Townshipbased Fausone Bohn LLP, where she specialized in family law. She belongs to the Women Lawyers Association Carla Testani is sworn in on June 14 at Northville Township Hall by Judge Thomas Cameron. of Michigan, the Federalist Society and the created by the resignation of Wayne County Family Law Judge Megan Brennan and must Bar Association (she served as seek election in November 2020 president from 2014-2016). for the remainder of the term. Testani is a 1995 graduate of She was officially sworn in on the University of Michigan, and June 14 at Northville Township then earned her law degree from Hall by Judge Thomas Cameron Wayne State University in 1998. to the 1st District Michigan Testani will fill the vacancy Court of Appeals.

Get out and vote!

Don’t forget there will be an important primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 7. There are a number of federal, state, county and local races on the ballot. In Northville Township, four candidates (Richard “Dick” Allen, Scott Frush, Priya Marwah and former Trustee Chris Roosen) are vying to fill the remainder of the late Marv Gans’s term on the Northville Board of Trustees. Allen is currently serving in the spot. He was appointed by the board after Gans died in December 2016. The term runs through 2020. Please remember that the primary election is partisan, meaning voters may only vote for one party’s candidates. If you vote in more than one party, your ballot will be spoiled. For a sample ballot in Northville Township visit www.northvillemich. com. City voters should visit www.




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Animal Magic Steve Belliveau’s Science of Sound Show July 19 from 2-3 p.m. The Northville District Library will present this kid-friendly show. Kids of all ages get great vibes watching fun science demos with lasers, ancient musical instruments, a giant ear and more. Due to space limitations, summer library activities cannot accommodate special groups. There will be 100 free tickets available at the Information Desk 10 minutes prior to the program. For more information about the show, visit You can also contact the library at (248) 3493020 or visit www.northvillelibrary.

Road Runner Classic July 21 at 5 p.m. Maybury State Park is the location of this annual event that will feature a 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk, 5K Run/Walk, and 8K Run/Walk. This family event features pizza, beer, homemade bake goods, and music after the run. Awards will be given to overall and masters male and female plus awards 3 deep for 5 year age brackets. For more information or to register, visit nrrclassic-register or

26 The ‘Ville

The Northville District Library brings back this popular show on July 24 (11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.). Meet exciting live exotic animals with licensed animal educator Mark Rosenthal. Not recommended for babies and young children (best for kids 5+). Due to space limitations summer library activities cannot accommodate special groups. There will be 100 free tickets available at the Information Desk 10 minutes prior to each show. For more information, contact the library at (248) 349-3020 or visit www. northvillelibrary.

Music at Maybury July 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. Maybury State Park hosts this free music series on Monday evenings through Aug. 20. The family-friendly concerts take place at the Trailhead building (use Eight Mile entrance). The garage band The Mayburys perform on the 23rd, followed by John Campbell and Friends on July 30; Detroit Social Club (soul/Motown/ blues) on Aug. 6; Northville Strings Students on Aug. 13; and Busted By Nine (classic rock) on Aug. 20. For more information, call the park office at (248) 349-8390.

Northville Grub Crawl

Fun at the Farm

July 24 from 6-9:30 p.m. This Northville Chamber of Commerce event will feature about a dozen local eateries, including Brann’s Sizzlin Steaks & Sports Grille, Edwards Café and Caterers, Kabob & Co., North Center Brewing Company, Northville Sports Den, Northville Winery & Brewing Company, My Little Paris Café & Bookstore, The Village Workshop, Twin Peaks and both Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern locations. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at Good Time Party Store and Northville Chamber of Commerce office. For more information, visit

July 27-28 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. New Hope Center for Grief Support, an organization that plans events and activities for local people of all ages to assist them in the grieving process, is hosting this two-day summer camp at Maybury Farm for children between ages of 5-14 who have lost a loved one. The camp is free, but registration is required. To register or for more information, call (248) 348-0115. You can also visit

Buy Michigan Now Festival Play Fore Education Golf Classic July 30 at 11:15 a.m. This fundraiser for the Northville Educational Foundation takes place at Meadowbrook Country Club. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. The event offers the opportunity to play the recently renovated golf course, plus includes lunch, dinner, open bar, locker room privileges, beverages and snacks on the course, longest drive and closest to the pin contests, giveaways and more. All proceeds go towards education opportunities for Northville Public Schools students and educators. Tickets are $300 for individuals and $1,100 for a foursome. There are also sponsorship opportunities available. For more information, visit www. or call (248) 344-8458.

Aug. 3-5 Buy Michigan Now is gearing up to host the 10th Annual Buy Michigan Now Festival in Downtown Northville. The event features a variety of Michigan businesses, food, entertainment, and shopping opportunities, in celebration of Buy Michigan Week. Hours are 4-8 p.m. on Aug. 3; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Aug. 4; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Aug. 5. Town Square will be home to a Michigan Beverage Garden, featuring beer and wine made around the state, as well as live music throughout the festival. New to the event this year is a cornhole tournament, silent auction, and Amigo Mobility scooters available for rental or sale. This is a free event. For information on vendor or sponsorship opportunities visit www.



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SHARE IT The Community Bulletin Board Page is just what it says. If you have events, photos or accomplishments you’d like to share with the community, please email Editor Kurt Kuban at Nearly 80 ladies participated in the Bill Brown Ford Rally for the Cure June 6 at Meadowbrook Country Club. According to organizers of the event nearly all of the participants have been impacted by breast cancer in one way or another. The event, which has been held annually for more than two decades, raised $6,200. Half the money was donated to Ford Warriors in Pink ( com) and the other half to the Pink Fund (

Nield named BIAMI chair

Former Northville School Board President Martha Nield was elected chair of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) Board of Directors on June 2. Her term runs through 2020. Nield has formerly served as chair of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Board of Directors, the Northville Historical Society, the Northville University of Michigan Club, and the Northville PTA Council. Her involvement with BIAMI began following her husband’s anoxic brain injury in 2011. The mission of the non-profit BIAMI is to improve the lives of those affected by brain injury and to reduce the incidence and impact of brain injury.

28 The ‘Ville


A Pink Rally

Seed money for Northville Garden Club Maybury Farm

scholarship winners

Northville High School graduating seniors Sohan Jadhav and Valerie McIlvaine are this year’s recipients of the Northville Garden Club scholarships ($1,000 each). The students were recognized at the club’s annual picnic at Northville Township Hall on June 11. Pictured (from left) are club treasurer Sally Hayes, Jadhav, McIlvaine, and Claire Khreher (scholarship chair for the club). In addition, the club awarded two $1,000 scholarships to Schoolcraft College students Krystle Stasik and Heather Donnelly. The Northville Garden Club raises money for the scholarships and its many community civic improvements through its annual Holiday Greens Mart. For more information about the Northville Garden Club, visit

Vanessa Bryer, an Amerman Elementary student who is on the school’s Lighthouse Leadership Team, organized a Read-A-Thon fundraiser this spring. She and her fellow students raised $3,724, donating half to the school’s library for new books. The other half was donated to Maybury Farm for its interactive Farm Garden, which is used to teach guests about farming and the lifecycle of plants. At the end of the school year, Bryer presented the $1,862 check to Maybury’s Rich Kern and farm manager Cindy Kern, when the two visited the school.

MISSING SINCE 5-19-18: FROST, our beloved, domestic, short haired cat. She is 13 years old, all white with greenish-blue eyes. She is not declawed and has no microchip. FROST has a small well-healed scar below the L inner eye that runs horizontally onto her nose. She has hyperthyroidism and needs her medication. If you have any information, please call Laurie at 248-231-2011. If you found FROST and have generously been caring for her, please let us know so that we can bring her home and reimburse you for your costs. Thank you!


Spend the day in Downtown Northville where you’ll find AMAZING dining, UNIQUE shops, and EXCITING entertainment. You’ll never want to leave! *Styles pictured may vary at locations due to availability/inventory. Pictured clockwise: Dancing Eye Gallery; Dear Prudence; Lucy & the Wolf

Brian Turnbull begins the Old Timers gathering at Genitti’s with a few introductions. He was filling in for his father, Bruce Turnbull.

A Walk Down Memory Lane ‘Old Timers’ gather to swap tales of days gone by Story and Photos by John Heider


n June 12th, about 60 longtime Northville residents gathered at Genitti’s Restaurant and Little Theatre for the annual Old Timers luncheon, reminiscing of days gone by. There were also some slide-show presentations of the town’s history, which were aided by their colorful tales. Brian Turnbull filled in for his father, the 98-year-old Bruce Turnbull, Northville’s walking, talking resident historian - who couldn’t attend due to a recent fall - and acted as the afternoon’s M.C. In attendance that Tuesday afternoon was Jim Long, owner of Northville’s Long Mechanical plumbing. Long was born in what was called Dr. Session’s hospital (on West Main Street - currently Star Manor nursing home) in 1949. Long recalled his early days in Northville and some of its highlights in the ‘50s. “It was a great place to

grow up. We rode our bikes everywhere, we were junior cadets in the Northville Police Department for Chief Joe Denton - and we could get into the P&A Theatre for free on Saturdays if we helped him out. “We’d get ice cream at Cloverdale and if a kid ever stepped out of line everyone in town knew about it,” Long continued. Mary Ware, a 65-year Northville resident and aunt to the late John Genitti, discussed growing up in Northville. The 98 year-old talked about how she used to play baseball at Maybury Sanitarium and how she still lives in the same house that was physically moved across town in the 1970s. Ware also worked at the Wayne County Training School at Five Mile and Sheldon. When asked what she valued most about the town she’s been part of for so long, Ware said: “Its quaintness - but even that’s changed a bit as time went on.”

The ‘Ville 29

It’s Your Business Jamey Kramer Group - RE/MAX Classic

Jamey Kramer (center) closes a deal with Dr. Mark Kopel and his wife, Chris.

Jamey Kramer is the #1 sales agent in the Northville/Novi market.

Attention to Detail

There’s a reason Jamey Kramer is #1 Realtor in the market


hen Jamey Kramer sends out an email, he always includes a tagline -- a quote by the great Will Rogers: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” That quote sums up perfectly the way Kramer, an associate broker for RE/MAX Classic,

approaches his work. He manages every client the same way. He develops a detailed marketing plan, tips for selling the home, and a pricing analysis, and then he gets after it. He is very hands on, meaning he works with the client every step of the way in an effort to meet his mission as an agent: get the

Many of Jamey Kramer's listings are luxury homes around Northville and Novi.

30 The ‘Ville

most money possible with the least amount of inconvenience to the client. “Many Realtors think their most important job is satisfying the customer. We don’t think that’s true. We believe that satisfying the customer is simply the minimum requirement for staying in business,” Kramer said of his mission statement. “Our objectives are to get our clients the most money in the least time, and with the fewest hassles. Simply put, we want to provide the best service in

the industry.” It is his attention to detail and focus on the customer that has resulted in Kramer being the number one sales agent in the Northville/Novi market several years running. In fact, he’s been the number one sales agent in Novi for 17 straight years, and is in the top one-percent among agents nationally. It’s not all just about the hard work though. Kramer, who has been in the real estate business for 26 years, is also very knowledgeable about the business. He has multiple professional designations, including Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), and Corporate Property Specialist (CPS). He puts that knowledge to work for his clients.

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“I’ve got the equivalent the listening. It is a great way to of doctorate in real estate,” find out what people want and Kramer said. need,” Kramer said. “I’m very He also has a great team direct. I’m going to get to know behind him. The Jamey Kramer you, and you’re gonna know Group includes Diana Kelly, me.” Jean Lang, and Frank Raburn, It is that sincere approach all of whom bring different that has led to Kramer earning talents and diverse experience multiple “People’s Choice to the table. Awards” in It’s a small, Northville, yet productive Novi and South team that Lyon, where he allows Kramer resides with his to invest all of wife, Margaret his attention and son, Jak on the client. (a student “I don’t want at Catholic to have 20 Central High people working School). for me. I’m Just check Kramer with two more happy clients, structured out his Richard and Linda Vance. this way to reviews on keep me in the mix throughout Zillow, where many “highly the process. A lot of people are recommend” him. He recently surprised when it’s me who sold a home for Curt and Gloria shows up for appointments, and Perry, who had nothing but not some agent who works for praise for Kramer and his team. me,” said Kramer, a former U.S. “Jamey and his team made Marine. the process seamless,” said Curt Most of Kramer’s listings Perry. “Jamey is not pushy, tells are high-end, you honestly executive-type what he thinks, homes, but he and negotiated said he will in our best sell everything interest. The ADDRESS: 26870 Beck Road, Novi from a $50,000 team that condo to a backs him up PHONE: $2 million was always (248) 348-3000 mansion. He available, very EMAIL: treats every knowledgeable, client the and anticipated WEBSITE: same. And, most of our at the end questions.” of the day, Those are Kramer believes that is his the kind of comments Kramer biggest reason for success -- his loves to hear, because he always ability to be a good listener and puts the focus on his clients – develop a relationship of trust not himself. with every client. “At the end of the day, what I “My mom always told me want my clients to know is I’m God gave you two ears and one not number one – they are. And mouth, so you should do twice I know that,” he said.

Dishin’ With Denise

Denise Jenkins serves on the board of directors for the Northville Chamber of Commerce and Tipping Point Theatre. An avid writer and proponent of the arts, she is also plugged into what’s happening in Northville.

[“Freedom lies in being bold.” – Robert Frost]

Celebrating freedom and some hometown heroes It seems to me that each year of the patient. After near death when you flip the calendar page experiences, one after another, to July you simply can’t help she found herself questioning but think of freedom. In today’s her training and instead of world, freedom of speech in the abandoning her dream, she written word is perhaps a little boldly sought to make a change. wrinkled. There are few who She recently authored a have the book, In Shock: My Journey courage from Death to Recovery and to be bold, the Redemptive Power of Hope and press that appeals to anyone who has on. It is my ever been a patient, a caregiver pleasure to or a health care professional. share the The book has been translated story of one in 60 countries, and has been bold young integrated into the curriculum Rana Awdish lady from of medical schools across the Northville who put pen to paper United States and throughout with a story that opened a lot of Europe. eyes. We should be proud to call Dr. Awdish has received her one of our own! awards too numerous to Rana Awdish, a Northville mention, including the National High School graduate, went on Compassionate Caregiver of the to receive her medical degree Year by The Schwartz Center from Wayne State University and Physician of the Year by and is currently the Director Press Ganey in 2017. At one of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program and Medical Director of Care Experience for Henry Ford Health Systems. Northville Ladies Book Club (seated front row from left are Along the JoAnn Dalziel, Joan Rucker, Dr. Rana Awdish, Dorothy way she has Suszanska; Back row standing from left Terry Mittman, Hostess Sue Woodsum, Denise Jenkins, Kathryn Ling, studied with Beth Reid and Terry Wild. the best and the brightest, and received high point in her story she laments, honors and accolades. “I’ve lost my words.” But as a After suffering a critical reader one can be rest assured illness while pursuing her that she found them because it dream to become a doctor, is eloquently written to engage Awdish was suddenly looking anyone who enjoys a good read. at her profession from the side Recently, a Northville

32 The ‘Ville

women’s book group chose to read the local author’s story and invited Dr. Awdish to a monthly meeting. She graciously took time from her busy schedule to attend and spoke from her heart. This young woman is making a difference in medicine – not with state of the art equipment or drugs or insurance plans, but with the skilled art of communication and the ability to see the patient as a person. This is one of the most critical elements of health care.

Sean English (center) with the orthopedic team from Henry Ford Health System. His surgeon Dr. Joseph Hoegler is to Sean’s left and the 1st place winner (and Hoegler's son) William is far left.

The Sean English Victory Run took place on June 2 through the streets of downtown Northville. The overall female winner was Katie Johnston of Northville; first place in the under 10 female category went to Northville’s Addison Kuebler. In the 11-14 year old male group the three top medal winners were all from Northville – Raymond Laskey (1st place), Garrett Frost (2nd place) and Andrew Meinzinger (3rd place). Sean English, who had part of his leg amputated after a tragic accident, inspired all the

participants with a few words before counting down the start of the race. The real inspiration was when he introduced his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Joseph Hoegler, who brought his family and some of Sean’s rehab team from Henry Ford Medical System. They did the 5K in honor of Sean, and Dr. Hoegler’s son, William, won 1st place overall! Welcome back to town Rita Patel! Rita was my favorite coffee barista 10 years ago. I sure did miss her friendly smile and infectious laughter. She is back from New York and has opened the Sweet Brew ‘n Spice Café inside Northville Square mall. Rita, and her new team of baristas, is serving freshly brewed gourmet coffee and teas, handcrafted specialty drinks, chilled coolers, healthy boost smoothies, protein shakes and more. They are also dishing up some sweet treats and custom sandwiches.

Rita Patel (right) with a customer.

The café is located on the upper level of the mall and is as charming as can be, with comfy chairs and easy-on-theeyes lighting. They will deliver in a one-mile radius. There is outdoor patio seating and a pet hydration station, plus complimentary dog treats!



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The 'Ville - July 2018  
The 'Ville - July 2018