The Parish House Inn

103 South Huron Street, Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197


October 14, 2016

Vintage Ypsilanti: Historic Buildings

Posted by: Martha Cleary

Vintage Ypsilanti: Historic Buildings

Ypsilanti quickly grew into the center of commerce for the area in the nineteenth century. To visit these Historic buildings today, just book your room and walk to all of these locations. Bring your camera and your walking shoes!

  • In Depot Town, picture the hustle and bustle when  the Hudson Dealership was a beehive of activity and automobiles became part of every household.
  • In the original Fire House, you can imagine the anticipation of the firemen.
  • Wishing for the good old days? Explore the many rooms decorated in the style of the 1860's at the Historical Museum. 
  • Did you know anyone who was a Mason? Ypsilanti's Masonic Temple still has the original character and symbols..
  • Wishing for the good old days? Explore the many rooms decorated in the style of the 1860's at the Historical Museum.
  • Remember when the local post office was in a building that was as imposing as the United States Government?

Over the years, these buildings have found new identities and continue to serve the community. 

auto museum

Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum,100 East Cross Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Home to a fabulous automobile collection and housed in the original Hudson dealership. Experience automotive history as you see models and hear stories about cars from the past including Kaiser Frazer, Chevrolet Corvair and the Tucker. Today it is host to the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum with exhibits from all five decades of Hudson History. Every time I visit  I learn a little bit more about the growth of the automobile industry in our area.During the summer months, the museum sponsors"Cruise Night" every Thursday from June to September, and car shows in  Riverside Park. These events have made Ypsilanti a destination for car enthusiasts all over the world.

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 1 PM- 4 PM. Closed Mondays.

Michigan Firehouse Museum & Education Center, 110 West Cross Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Ypsilanti's original 1898 Firehouse building is set up with horse-drawn vehicles, a restored bunk area, the brass pole and a collection of firehouse gear. Today in the new addition, fire trucks from the past plus the largest collection of truck bells and lights anywhere. The education center promotes fire safety and hosts a fire truck muster event in Riverside Park during the summer. This is such a great place to visit with your family or group anytime.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 PM – 4 PM. Sunday Noon – 4 PM.

The Ypsilanti Historical Museum, 220 North Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Housed in an 1860's mansion, it is furnished as a home of the era. The exhibits display items  related to local history. The archives are extensive and are available for research of local and family history. Special collections are on exhibit from time to time such as quilts and memorabilia about people of influence in Ypsilanti. I enjoy visiting during the Holiday season to see the vintage decorations.

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 2 PM - 5 PM.

Riverside Arts Center, 76 North Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Originally built as a Masonic Temple, it has been transformed into the Riverside Arts Center or RAC over the past 25 years. Today there is an art gallery, a theater and dance studio. The addition of the former DTE building next door, now called RAC-Off Center, increased gallery and studio space. On the north side, a former car wash is now an inviting plaza with stairs connecting to Riverside Park below. Locally produced plays and rotating art exhibits plus studio space has made the RAC this the center for Ypsilanti's growing art and culture community.

Hours vary according to the event.


Ypsilanti Downtown Public Library, 229 West Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti , MI 48197

It looks like a post office because it was a post office until 1963 when the library took possession of the building and began the transition. In 2002, renovation was begun that updated the building and restored the interesting architectural details.When you step inside, you will feel the stateliness of this old building. Library Plaza, next to the library building,, began construction also in 2002 as an urban oasis. It was designed to celebrating the lives of people who made a difference while serving people today in this busy urban environment. I often just take a moment to reflect as the Patsy Chandler fountain welcomes me in. I 'll read the Historical marker about Elijah McCoy, and visit the statue of Harriet Tubman, as reminders of Ypsilanti's rich history before  going home with my books. It has been a very welcome addition to our Downtown.

Open daily from 9AM until 9 PM. Closed Sunday.


By Chris Mason,

Chef/innkeeper at the Parish House Inn bed and breakfast author of the cook bookchris mason

"7 Recipes to get You Out of bed For Breakfast Every Morning"

Contact information:

telephone: 734-480-4800

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