City of Ludington Celebrates its Past with New Downtown Gathering Space

While it only took eight months from the start of construction to project completion, the City of Ludington’s new Legacy Plaza has been a community dream for well over 35 years. With the help of a generous grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) through a Community Development Block Grant, the vision of Legacy Plaza finally became a reality for this small lakeshore community.

July 1, 2021 marked a special day in the history of Ludington. On a picture-perfect summer day, members of the community gathered downtown to celebrate and dedicate this $2.1 million project on what was formerly North James Street, between Ludington Avenue and Court Street. The plaza is designed to honor the legacy of the Native Americans—the Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi tribes—living along the shores of Lake Michigan and nearby forests, as well as the lumber and maritime industries that grew the community of Ludington to become what it is today.

Legacy Plaza is a welcoming space in the heart of downtown and includes a farmers market pavilion, restroom facility, raised performance stage, gas fireplace with seating wall, decorative lighting, green space and native rain gardens, as well as site furnishings tied together with decorative concrete and landscaping.

Those who dedicated the new space included Ludington Mayor Steve Miller, Ludington Community Development Director Heather Tykoski, Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Sue Devries, 35th District State Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), and a representative of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Jay Sam, who performed a ritual ceremony. The Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce performed the ribbon-cutting.

Prein&Newhof provided site design, water main and storm water sewer design, landscape architecture, and construction observation services. Members of the Prein&Newhof design and construction observation team included Matt Hulst, PE, Project Manager; and Landscape Architects Matt Levandoski, PLA, Paul Reinhold, PLA, and Collin Manns. Matt Tipping, PE from Century AE oversaw the design for the restroom facility, the fireplace, and the site’s electrical needs. Heirloom Carpentry & Construction’s Josh Wickham was the contractor project manager.

While the space is now in use, fundraising will continue to install a few additional features, including an archway, a digital kiosk, and canvas sides for off-season use of the pavilion. Prein&Newhof is proud to see this vision become reality and is honored to see farther with the City of Ludington for the benefit of all those who live in and visit the area.

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