Voting for the 2022 Best Places in Local Government (aka the #ELGLKnope) Round of 8 opens on March 28, 2022 and closes at midnight PT on Friday, April 1, 2022. One vote per person. Learn more about this award online.
Greenmead Historical Park
Livonia, Michigan 48152
- Year(s)/Era: Victorian era 1820-1914
- Type of Place: Site
- Nomination: Greenmead Historical Park is a 200-year-old, 95-acre historical park within the City of Livonia. Purchased by the City of Livonia in 1976 and operated by the Parks and Recreation Department, the park includes the Simmons-Hill House and its original farming outbuildings, a 13-building historical village, Greenmead Community Garden, Virginia B. Matley Nature Trail, and soccer fields. Patrons can enjoy leisurely walks throughout the village daily. The village and surrounding structures host a variety of rentals and events throughout the year, regardless of the season. Historical educational lectures and activities take place each month, as well as school field trips, weddings, and larger community events both with a feel for the olden days, as well as other events with a more modern flair. Greenmead is a primary location for bringing the community together, drawing thousands of people to events.
- Most notable attribute(s): The 13-building historical village within Greenmead Historical Park is our most notable attribute, with two unique features that make it different from other open-air museums. First, Greenmead is home to one of the oldest Friends (Quaker) Meeting Houses in Michigan. The Livonia Meeting met in this building between 1846-1853. Second, Newburg Village has been recreated as it lied at the intersection of Newburgh and Ann Arbor Trail. Six structures from this 4-corner village were moved to Greenmead, including the Newburg Schoolhouse, Newburg Church, its parsonage, A.J. Geer Store, the bungalow home in which the Geer Family lived while operating the store, and the Detroit United Railway Waiting Room. This complete intersection serves as a reminder of Livonia’s past as a farming community and the many villages that have faded into history. The village is also home to four residential structures of founding families to the township and the Nankin Mills Schoolhouse, built by Henry Ford for the children of his workers at the Nankin Mill.
- Special designations or recognitions: Greenmead Farms is on the National Register of Historic Places, originating with the Simmons-Hill House and its outbuildings being listed in 1972. In 2022, Greenmead became Michigan’s newest Certified Local Government (CLG) community. Administered by the National Park Service and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, the CLG program is a preservation partnership between local, state, and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the local level.
- Three words to describe: History, Community, Preservation
- Anything else to share? The combined efforts of Livonia Parks and Recreation staff, Friends for the Development of Greenmead, the Historic Preservation Commission, Historical Commission, Livonia Historical Society, and community partners such as the Livonia Chamber of Commerce have all helped to make Greenmead a vital part of the Livonia community while also raising more than $2.5 million in funds over the past 20 years to maintain the 100-200-year-old buildings and surrounding property.
City of Livonia
Livonia, Michigan 48154