National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Alma Downtown Historic District
Reference Number 13000904
State Michigan
County Gratiot
Town Alma
Street Address Superior and State Streets
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 12/11/2013
Link to full file
The Alma Downtown Historic District is significant at the local level under National Register criteria A, B, and C for its association with Alma's political, social, entertainment, and commercial history; Ammi Willard Wright; and architecture. The downtown district was historically (and remains today) the center of Alma's commercial activity, and the downtown commercial buildings continue to provide goods and services to Alma's and the region's residents. The district contains the Public Building, which housed village and then city government, including the police and fire station, for nearly seventy-five years. The Alma Downtown Historic District provided residents and visitors with entertainment and performing arts venues in the form of movie and vaudeville theaters and an opera house all located in surviving buildings. Fraternal organizations like the Masons and Odd Fellows gathered in the upper rooms of commercial buildings downtown and some built their own m eeting halls in the district. Despite Alma's modest size, the city has a rich history of fraternal organizations, and evidence of this social activity is still present in the Masonic and Odd Fellows halls in the downtown historic district, and in other standing buildings that contained halls used by these groups. Alma experienced a period of immense growth in the second half of the nineteenth century much of it due to leading businessman and citizen Ammi Willard Wright, and his importance is still evident in several major buildings within the historic district. For this reason, the Alma Downtown Historic District is also significant under National Register Criterion B. Finally, the district is significant under Criterion C for architecture, as the district contains Alma's most distinguished historic commercial, civic, and other buildings.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria