Ladies' Literary House Foundation
Help Us Revive Our Greek Revival!
For more than a hundred years, the members of the Ladies’ Literary Club have owned and maintained their historic 1840s Greek Revival house at 218 North Washington Street. In the 1930s it attracted the attention of Emil Lorch, founder and chair of the University of Michigan architecture program. The house is an important representative of its time, and due to the efforts of Professor Lorch it became the first one in Michigan to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Later in the twentieth century, the house’s footprint was enhanced with the addition of a caretaker's apartment, a basement, and a new kitchen. The house is in Ypsilanti’s Historic District and any exterior changes are subject to approval by the city’s Historic District Commission.
The clubhouse is a true asset to the City of Ypsilanti, a beloved resource for the many organizations and private individuals who have rented or attended events there over many years. The cost to rent this lovely house is reasonable, especially when compared to similar venues in the area. Nonprofits and club members are given a special rate.
The house has inevitably been subject to rain, wind, and age, leading to the deterioration of the external facade that normal maintenance has not alleviated. In 2014, Steven Stuckey, a graduate student in EMU's historic preservation program, provided us with a detailed assessment of the required work. His invaluable report is now our guidepost.
In fall 2017 club Trustees began moving forward with repairs to the chimney and roof and gutter replacement. The cost for this work was $18,000. The cost of the additional exterior repairs will be approximately $134,000. The club anticipates doing this work in stages over three years, spending a total of $152,000.
The Ladies' Literary Club is reaching out to members of the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor community as well as club members to help us raise the necessary funds to proceed with these important repairs to the exterior of the house. In 2016 the Ypsilanti Ladies' Literary House Foundation was awarded 501(c)(3) status; this allows for donations to be federal-tax deductible and enables us to apply for appropriate grant monies. To make a tax-deductible donation to help preserve and maintain our historic clubhouse make checks payable to the YLLHF (Ypsilanti Ladies’ Literary House Foundation) and mail to Anne Miller,Treasurer, 218 North Washington Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197.