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Borden Building (Michigan Condensed Milk Factory, Borden Creamery)
On the south bank of the Chippewa River, just west of the historic commercial district, the offices of Mount Pleasant City Hall and others occupy newly refurbished space in the former Michigan Condensed Milk Factory. In November 2005 voters of Mount Pleasant approved the sale of its old city hall so as to direct the proceeds to the rehabilitation of the Borden Building. The renovation and development of the adjoining site in a revitalization project of W. Broadway Street employed historic preservation and brownfield redevelopment tax credits and funds. The city and Central Michigan Developers collaborated on the project. It sparked the expansion of the city's Greg K. Baderschneider River Walk Trail. In 2009 the Borden Building received a Governor's Award for Historic Preservation.
Designed by Herring, a Borden Company engineer from New York, the former factory is a large two-story red brick structure of open space with a gabled roof topped by eight cupolas that served as ventilators. On behalf of local farmers, local attorney Samuel W. Hopkins contracted with the Borden Company to build a subsidiary milk condensing and butter plant in Mount Pleasant. The plant greatly improved the economy in the Mount Pleasant vicinity. Prices of cattle and pastureland increased, and led many crop farmers to change to dairy farming. Sugar beets, the other local product, also went into the production of condensed milk.
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