Feb 28, 2024

Grand Hotel Wins 2024 Build Michigan Award

The renovation and restoration of the Grand Hotel Façade, Jockey Club, and Woods Restaurant has been awarded a 2024 Associated General Contractors (AGC) Build Michigan Award. The Spence Brothers project team was thrilled to attend the AGC Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony on February 23, 2024, alongside owners, architects, and other industry colleagues to celebrate this achievement.

Spence Brothers served as Construction Manager to complete the project on behalf of the Grand Hotel, with partners from HopkinsBurns Design Studio. Notable subcontractors include Murray Painting Company, Johnson & Wood, The Lumber Shed, Absolute Building Solutions, Northern Power Electric, Belonga Excavating, and G&J Site Solutions.

Build Michigan Awards

According to the AGC, “the Build Michigan Award was established in 1995 by the Professional Service Provider Member Council of the AGC of Michigan as a way to recognize the excellence of an entire project team.” A panel of judges consider awards fo​r new construction and renovation work in the following areas: Building Construction $10 Million and Over, Building Construction $10 Million or Less, Federal and Heavy Construction, Construction Management, Design-Build, and Environmental.

Grand Hotel Façade, Jockey Club, and Woods Restaurant Renovation and Restoration Project Summary

Located in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a well-known and famous tourist attraction. Named the 2023 USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Best Summer Travel Destination and 2022 Travel + Leisure Best Island in the Continental U.S., this island has cultivated an image of “standing still in time.” On the island is the iconic Grand Hotel, one of the last surviving Grand Dames of the Gilded Age, best known for its distinctive Victorian architecture. This hotel is an essential part of the island’s historic identity. Originally constructed in 1887, the hotel beckons its guests to a bygone era of old-world hospitality and charm. During this project, Spence Brothers aimed to restore and preserve the National Landmark and top resort in the Midwest, successfully delivering an award-worthy feat.

Façade and Porch Restoration

Exterior improvements took place to the hotel’s iconic porches, balconies, and façade. Work included new siding, window restoration, replacement of lobby and parlor level awnings, and reconstruction of the historic porte cochere. While maintaining accurate historical building practices the historic facility renovations and restorations were accomplished within a strict timeline to meet the seasonal tourist demands of the hotel and the island itself.

Woods Restaurant Renovation

In an effort to preserve and enhance the facility’s historic Bavarian charm for years to come, work included the replacement and expansion of the existing exterior dining deck, as well as the construction of a new, canopied timber pavilion area. The interior experienced minor renovations, including new finishes and expanding ADA-compliant restrooms. The main dining room retained its existing Bavarian theme with a new furniture refresh, but The Chalet, the Trophy Room, and Bobby’s Bar received extensive renovations. The renovations feature new indoor and outdoor dining areas, including additional deck seating, a covered pavilion with a firepit, and a partial glass roof.

Jockey Club Renovation

A multi-year winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, work at this casual restaurant included the addition of a new steel-framed canopy pavilion, with site modifications to the existing terrace, as well as remodeling to the interior bar area within the historic restaurant. This revamping also included the addition of ADA-compliant restrooms with exterior access. A new open-air pavilion replaced the former tent and now offers more seating and expanded alfresco dining options. A new lantern lounge at the terrace entrance accommodates the outdoor dining seating and features a tree covered in overhead lanterns, creating a captivating, suspended glow.

As a member of the Historic Hotels of America since 2001, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel is a source of nostalgia for many. Its continued operation and commitment to historical preservation allows visitors to experience a moment of the past for many years to come. Spence Brothers is proud to partner with the iconic property to maintain and restore, while meticulously preserving its historic character for all to appreciate when visiting this award-winning vacation destination.