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October 27, 2009

Tuesday’s Retro Guest – A Real Mod Squad, Vintage State Police Buildings

Thanks to Jan for this well-researched trip into government architecture!  Love it!

Okay, so the thought of admiring the modern digs of a police department may not turn you on, however, what I’m about to present to you is a small sampling of pre-modern and mid-century modern structures of the Michigan State Police.  After wards, you’ll probably agree with me that the state troopers are a genuine Mod(ern) Squad!

Let’s begin with a little history.  During the mid-to-late 1930s, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) was assigned to build new police posts for the State of Michigan.  Approximately 36, brick and concrete two-story structures (barracks are on the second floor)  were erected across the upper and lower peninsulas and the majority of these gems are still in use!   I consider these designs as pre-modern; thus whenever I see these buildings, I am overcome with joy at their beauty.  Take a look.

The Rockford (MI) Post#61  opened in 1936 (love, love, love those awnings!).


The Battle Creek (MI) Post#57 opened in 1939  (Yes, BC is where Tony the Tiger lives!)


Now for what we have all been waiting for:  (drum roll, please)  MID CENTURY MODERN!!!!!!

The Ionia (MI) Post#68, year of building unknown, maybe early 1960s?


The Monroe (MI) Post#28, year built unknown, but also looks like it’s a Sixties blast from the past.


The Petoskey (MI) Post# 78 opened in 1966.


The Grand Haven (MI) Post#64 opened in 1960


The Munising (MI) Post#91 opened in 1970, which, I believe, ends the era of MCM, but don’t quote me as an expert!


Can you believe this?  A tri-level building that screams MCM!   This building alone makes me want to join the state police and beg and plead to be assigned there until I retired!  Help!  I feel faint!

The Bridgeport (MI) Post#37 opened in 1957.


I hope you have all enjoyed this rather unusual side-trip in the world of MCM.  I don’t usually thank politicians and/or governments, but I must give snaps to the State of Michigan for preserving these vintage structures.

In closing, let’s remember our men and women in law enforcement and in our military who relentlessly keep our communities and our country safe from harm.  God bless everyone of you!

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3 Responses to Tuesday’s Retro Guest – A Real Mod Squad, Vintage State Police Buildings

  1. Kelly Reply

    October 27, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Thanks for the fascinating tour! The architecture really does stand the test of time and looks great doing it.

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    October 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm


    Great job on the post! That is really cool seeing all the different older police bulidings still in use. I hope they keep them around for a long time to come too. Hooray for Ionia! That is where Mike’s parents were born and raised!

  3. Alex Reply

    October 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    This is very cool. My doctor’s office is in a MCM home. The doctors decided to keep the “feel” of the home, and they kept cool features like the flooring and the ceiling beams. They did redo the bathrooms. Oh well. It’s still very cool. Each doctor has a little hallway, which leads into one of the old bedrooms. It’s not as strange as it sounds. 😉

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