Downtown – Petoskey, Michigan

Isaac Kremer/ August 26, 2019/ architecture, downtown, Main Street, program/ 0 comments

Petoskey is one of the premier shopping districts in northern Michigan. Halfway between Mackinac Island and Traverse City, here you can find fashion, gifts, dining, ice cream,

J.C. Penney Co.

One of the last remaining downtown department stores.

Wright Cycle Co.

Wright brothers historian Dave Russell originally from Oakwood, Ohio, where the Wright brothers lived. Russell opened his Wright Cycle Co. building to celebrate the 115th anniversary of the Wright brothers first flight, Dec. 17, 1903.

Petoskey Downtown Offices

Bloom Flower Shop

Well staged windows, bench, planter, blade sign, and A-frame sign create visual interest on the sidewalk and pull customers in.


Custom flower planter that frames the space beneath the window well.

American Spoon Gelato Cafe


High Five Spirits

Interesting use of garage doors to open bar to street and sidewalk.


First Kilwin’s location, though it appears to have gone through some renovations.

Wolverine Cabinet Co.

Blade sign creates visual interest for pedestrians.

Reid’s Furniture

Vintage neon sign. Important to preserve as a character defining feature.

Grandpa Shorter’s


Slanted awning with open ends.

Somebody’s Gallery

Interesting use of tile to bring the brand colors out on to the street.

J.W. Shorter & Son Mercantile

Excellent intact prismatic glass transom over storefront.

J. Phillips

Art Deco inspired etched glass door immediately sets the tone as customers prepare to enter.

Symons General Store

Masonic Temple

Chatham House Interiors

Clever use of tile in entry way helps to draw people in.

City Park Grill

The Annex, managed by the Fochtman family, was popular during Hemingway’s time. Historically a saloon and billiard hall, it legally sold only soft drinks during Prohibition but also, probably, alcohol. Hemingway is reported to have enjoyed playing billiards here and watching the bare-knuckle boxing matches in the nearby park. The Annex likely served as inspiration for the saloon in Hemingway’s story, “A Man of the World.”

Public Spaces and Plantings

Benches arranged facing each other to encourage conversation.

Variety of concrete, terra cotta, and planter boxes come together to create an oasis of green and colorful flowers.

Impressive height achieved from this small square planter.

Identification sign in planter bed.

Railroad tracks repurposed for public park, while leaving the tracks in place.

The Perry Hotel

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About Isaac Kremer

Isaac Kremer is a transformational leader with a track record of success revitalizing downtowns in the United States. He has written and spoken extensively. He's always on the lookout for new and innovative ideas to unlock the potential of downtown areas.

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