Dear friends of Restoring Reading,
Thank you very much for your support and donations to preserve the 1911 Reading Building. We regret to inform you, we failed to convince the Flat Rock Board of Education to halt demolition. The vote was 4-3 against. On June 19th this beautiful structure was razed to a pile of bricks and rubble- 112 years of treasured history vanished in just 48 hours.
While we are both heartbroken and outraged by a visionless decision, we are more resolved than ever to continue our fight to educate and change the culture for historic preservation in the city of Flat Rock and beyond. Our goal of bringing an educational and interactive museum to the children and families of Downriver remains steadfast in our vision.
However, all was not lost. In an unlikely, yet fortunate twist of fate, we learned of another historic property facing the same fate at Reading by the city of Flat Rock. The 1866 home of Civil War Veteran, Postmaster and Justice of the Peace, Wesley Littlefield at 26139 Gibraltar Road, in the heart of downtown Flat Rock. The home was slated for demo within weeks due to violation of city ordinances. Thanks to an extremely flexible property owner- one who empathized with our plight- and some awesome work by the local team, we were able to convince the City to halt the demo.
We are extremely grateful to be the proud new owners and neighbors of the Littlefield Home, and genuinely appreciate everyone who helped us get here! We are honored to have the opportunity to contribute to our town's rich, historical heritage with the preservation of this extraordinary property.
Needless to say, this is only the beginning and we have quite the challenge ahead. The home remained vacant for quite some time and will need extensive renovations. Once again- and not surprisingly- the energy, enthusiasm and progress from volunteer residents have been both inspiring and healing!
While this labor of love will undoubtedly "take a village" and necessitate financial support from individuals and institutions alike, we are aggressively mobilizing and excited to provide a unique prism into the entire experience for all - every step of the way.
We look forward to sharing fascinating tales from this 1860s gem's legacy as we continue to unlock its rich history and we're eager to keep everyone abreast of the functional plan for the site as our work continues!
If you, or someone you know, is a skilled tradesperson or owns a business relevant to the renovation and area revitalization of this planned cultural and history center please contact us at [email redacted] to help.
The Restoring Reading Foundation is forging ahead with its name, in memory of The Gertrude C. Reading Building and 501c3 nonprofit status. We will continue with fundraising efforts and plans to rehabilitate Littlefield while researching the potential for an interactive museum. Our continued gratitude and heartfelt thanks to the Flat Rock Historical Society for their fiscal sponsorship, which allows all donations to be tax-deductible.
We would greatly appreciate you sharing our story and we invite everyone to please follow along on the historical plans, progress and renovation at our website or socials below:
Thank you very much for your support and sharing our story!
The Restoring Reading Foundation