MotorCities National Heritage Area

June 19, 2019

MotorCities National Heritage Area Awards More Than $50,000 In Grant Funding to Several Michigan Projects


The MotorCities National Heritage Area, a non-profit organization dedicated to the historic preservation of the automotive industry, has approved grant funding to a dozen organizations through its 2019 Challenge Grant and Mini Grant programs, awarding more than $50,000 to 13 projects.


Grant recipients include a diverse assortment of projects from physical restoration of historically significant buildings or vehicles to educational programs that chronicle important stories from the region’s automotive and labor history.


“MotorCities, now in its 21st year, is proud to continue to support such a varied selection of projects which support our rich automotive and labor heritage and its influence on our communities,” said Shawn Pomaville-Size, MotorCities Executive Director. 


Four projects received Challenge Grants:


  • Horace & Mabel Hackett Foundation (Jackson): The Foundation received two grants. One supports architectural and engineering services for restoration of the historic Hackett Automobile Company building; the second will help restore the building’s original windows -- $27,480;
  • Jewish Historical Society of Michigan (West Bloomfield): Supporting a documentary project that will contribute to a multicultural understanding of the nation’s labor history – $2,000;
  • Packard Motor Car Foundation (Shelby Township): Supporting the revitalization of the Packing Proving Grounds (PPG) site, including the Packard Museum and an Arsenal of Democracy Museum -- $10,000.


Nine projects are the inaugural recipients of MotorCities’ first mini grants, which receive awards up to $1,500. The organizations are as follows:  


  • The City of Hamtramck: Supporting long-term improvements to exhibits at Hamtramck Historical Museum -- $1,500.
  • Concours d'Elegance of America (Plymouth): Supporting an essay competition for Kettering University engineering students, focusing on the “History of Alternative Power” -- $575;
  • Dearborn Historical Society on behalf of Dearborn Historical Museum:  Supporting the opening of the new, interactive exhibit “The Dearborn Independent & Its Legacy” -- $1,500;
  • Horace & Mabel Hackett Foundation (Lansing): Supporting free Model T rides to visitors during the “Be A Tourist” event In Lansing as a means of educating participants in auto heritage -- $1,500;
  • Northville Historical Society: Received two grants funding a new information kiosk in Mill Race Village and interactive Inter Urban display -- $2,673;
  • Oakland County Pioneer Historical Society (Pontiac): Supporting the preservation of an original Standard Vehicle carriage --$1,500;
  • Pontiac Transportation Museum: Increasing public awareness by supporting upgrades to the organization’s website -- $1,500;
  • Saline Area Historical Society:  Supporting lighting improvements and building renovations for their Oldsmobile display at Rentschler Farms -- $1,500;
  • Services to Enhance Potential (Westland): Supporting a month-long exhibit of art pieces created by young people with disabilities at Detroit’s Peace Gallery to celebrate Michigan’s rich automotive history -- $1,500.


The MotorCities Grant program has been funding historical and cultural preservation projects in Michigan since 1998, when Congress passed the Automobile National Heritage Area Act. Since that time, MotorCities, an affiliate of the National Park Service and the state’s only National Heritage Area, has awarded $1.6 million in grants to more than 300 hundred projects.