Belding to celebrate historic district

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 9:58 am on Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gibson Clock Tower

BELDING — Downtown Belding will be buzzing with excitement this weekend as the city celebrates its newly established historic district.
The Silk City Preservation Society is celebrating with the first Belding Historic District Block Party from 11 to 3 p.m. Saturday on Main Street between Bridge and Alderman streets downtown.
“We’re very excited about the new historic district,” Silk City Preservation Society President Bobbi Bieschke said. “We want the community to be as excited as we are.”
There will be several activities for kids and adults of all ages. Following a fall theme, pumpkin decorating and scarecrow making are expected to be popular events. Cider and donuts will be available while visitors stroll through the newly labeled historic district.
Some of the buildings officially deemed historic include the original Gibson silk mill and clock tower, the Belding Museum located in the Belrockton Community Center and the Belding post office.
The library will be open until 1 p.m. and the museum will be open to the public as well.
“All of these buildings are now tied back into the Belding family in some way,” said Silk City Preservation Society Secretary Crystal Schultz. “We really want to celebrate it. It’s been a lot of work for the people involved and we think it will bring a lot of people into the community.”
Schultz said sweatshirts and bracelets will be available for purchase and a booth will be set up to answer any questions about the historic district and what it now means for the city of Belding.
“I just hope everyone comes out and has a fun day with their family and can enjoy our town’s history,” Shultz said.
The city began the process of establishing a historic district about a year ago after Electrolux announced it repurchased the Gibson Building and planned to tear it down, along with the iconic clock tower.
City Council members cast the final vote needed to establish the district in September.
Electrolux unsuccessfully tried to block the historic district with a lawsuit. Having the Gibson Building in the historic district will toughen the process Electrolux must follow to demolish the aging facility.

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