CAMBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The Irish Hills Towers in Michigan are one step closer to reopening as a tourist attraction and museum after several years of restoration work.
Cambridge Township trustees are expected to approve taking the 93-year-old former tourist attraction off their dangerous buildings list when they meet Nov. 8. The decision would end years of deadlines, meetings, progress reports and work between the township and the Irish Hills Historical Society to save the U.S. 12 landmark.
“We are in a really good place right now,” said Donna Boglarsky, president of the historical society.
The township condemned the towers in 2013. Restoration work that finished this fall included replacing exterior windows and installing sheet metal siding.
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Finances for restoration continue to be a struggle, according to Boglarsky. She said there are currently no funds available for construction of new tower tops.
“We’ve had a lot of moral support and that’s wonderful to have, but finances are tough,” she said. “We’re hoping that now that the exterior is in good shape, people will see we are serious about saving the towers and get on board.”
The township’s building inspector next will check the rubber roof caps installed in 2013 when the deteriorated observation decks were removed.
“As long as that checks out, we will be ready to take the towers off the (dangerous buildings) list,” said Bill Gentner, supervisor for the board. “Donna has worked hard and diligently. We surely didn’t want to have to go to the point of demolition.”
Efforts will then go toward interior work. Boglarsky said the goal is to have the property fully restored and open to the public for their 100th birthday in 2024.