FORT MACKINAC: MACKINAC STATE HISTORIC PARKS
Mackinac Island, MI
National Historic Landmark
Originally planned by the British to defend its strategic interests, the fort changed hands three times during the War of 1812 before the United States gained final control in 1814. In 1875, the fort and much of the island were designated as the United States’ second National Park. Transferred to the State of Michigan in 1895, the park and fort became Michigan’s first state park. Restoration efforts have been ongoing since 1958 to restore the National Historic Landmark to its appearance during the pre-1895 U.S. military period.
The rough stone walls (constructed of local limestone) around Fort Mackinac are several hundred feet long, up to 8 feet thick, and as high as 30 feet. The HopkinsBurns team, as SmithGroup, surveyed the condition of the walls and building foundations, prioritized necessary repairs, and provided construction documents for restoration. While maintaining as much historic fabric as possible, work ranged from careful repair to total dismantling of walls and reconstructing with new mortar, footings, and caps. Traditional methods and materials were utilized (so the historic character would not be compromised) and supplemented with concealed modern techniques when original methods were inadequate. Work included coordination with archaeological investigations as the site remained a tourist attraction during construction work.