craig mawr cottage
Mackinac Island, MI
2006 Preservation Honor Award
AIA Huron Valley
With the improvements in transportation in the late 1800s, many prominent Midwestern families began to spend their summers on Mackinac Island. Between 1883 and 1905, sixty parcels of land were sold to build “summer cottages.” In 1890, a lovely summer estate named “Craig Mawr” was built, with a 5,000 square foot house, carriage house and barn. Sold in 1905, Craig Mawr's second owner made several changes to the house and grounds. In 2000 HopkinsBurns, as SmithGroup, began working with the current owners on an extensive restoration of the buildings and grounds.
A majority of the work involved restoring the house to its original appearance. Located within historic Mackinac Island State Park, work on the house was carefully scrutinized by the park commission, and had to conform to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Restoration of Historic Properties. Restoration included reconstruction of the original west tower, south dormers and porch roof based on photographic evidence. Structural repairs, new foundations and mechanical and electrical upgrades were made that will add years of life to the house. Interior elements, such as bead board walls and ceilings, paneled doors, ornamental hardware and bathroom fittings were restored.
The carriage house was rehabilitated and expanded to accommodate up to six horses and two staff apartments. The once picturesque gardens were restored with reconstruction of pergolas, fences and gardens. Original stone walls, fountains and a lawn tennis court were restored and a new swimming pool and fountain were designed to enhance the historic character of the estate.