Park Place Hotel Planning to Demolish Dome

A historic Northern Michigan building may lose one of its unique features.

Tuesday the Traverse City Historic Commission approved demolition and construction plans for the Park Place Hotel’s dome.

A plan that will include a new conference center, new pool and new health club.

“It’s really way overdue,” says Park Place Hotel’s Representative Eric Helzer.  

Since 2008 the Park Place has been contemplating a new conference center. Tuesday their plans were approved.

"The plan is to replace the old dome, this will allow for our capacity to reach right around 500 persons for capacity," says Eric Helzer.

Before the $3.8 million project begins, Traverse City’s Historic District Commission must approve. Park Place knew their tower was recognized by the National Historic Registry, but didn’t know about the dome.

Architecture Historian Maura Johnson says, “It had some meaning to the community, but in terms of a larger historical significance it wasn’t really known until the discussion started about it coming down and you know in historic preservation that’s not an uncommon situation.”

Maura Johnson says the dome is one of a kind.

 “It’s the first example again that we know of a very unique method of construction and it’s a patent method of construction that involves basically spraying Styrofoam in a circle on itself," she says.

After it’s gone, the dome’s historic value will be memorialized.

“We’re going to put the dome in a public record and then we’re also going to do a historic marker, a place marker, right out in front of the dome by the sidewalk where people can actually read about the dome. Then we’re going to put up some kind of mural or picture wall somewhere in the new conference room itself,” says Eric Helzer.

The demolition and construction plans still need to be approved by the county and state.