9 and 11 West Michigan Avenue

Eleven West Salon and Spa • Flour Mill Apartments

This year’s tour revisits the Flour Mill Building in downtown Ypsilanti, recently renovated by Phoenix Contractors, Inc., and considered a landmark at the eastern gateway to the historic Michigan Avenue business district.

In 2001, tourgoers took a look at the three newly completed but empty two-story loft apartments, each with picturesque views of the Huron River, historic downtown, and the anticipated Water Street neighborhood development. Now comes the opportunity to see one of these unique and delightful apartments furnished. Tenants Darin Latimer and Carolina Lopez have embellished their apartment with an eclectic mix of art and antiques.

The elegant new Eleven West Salon and Spa on the ground floor will also be open. Tourgoers will notice how creatively the contemporary salon design has blended with the historic features of the old mill.

This building was constructed in 1888 as the O. A. Ainsworth and Co. Feed Mill and Grain Storage at 514 and 516 Congress Street. Owner Oliver A. Ainsworth contracted the Detroit architectural firm of Mason & Rice to build the structure, which features striking Romanesque arches and a prominent roofline—both showing the influence of renowned architect H. H. Richardson. Mason & Rice also designed the neighboring Ypsilanti Savings Bank (today the Ypsilanti City Hall) and Starkweather Chapel in Highland Cemetery.

The Ainsworth mill operated until about 1910. Since that time, the building has served as a feed and grain store, general store, lumber business, and numerous restaurants.

Bill Kinley, owner of Phoenix Contractors, Inc. of Ypsilanti, purchased the property in 2000 and spearheaded its redevelopment as a vibrant mixed-use property. He worked closely with architect Gary Cooper of Cooper Design Associates to ensure the building’s continued historic integrity.

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