When reviewing the historic resources in Port Huron that still stand, and those that don’t (along with the how, when, and why of their demise), a person can easily assume that no historic preservation laws actually exist in Michigan. The non-federally owned properties that are protected to a certain extent here are those that people have simply wished to be protected, and, those persons had some ability to get that protection in place. What about all the other properties that are worthy of protection, but aren’t? What about all those that were worthy of protection in the past, but are now gone? If protection laws exist, why have they been implemented so capriciously or subjectively, at least in the Port Huron area?
Preservation laws and ordinances are based on lots of things, like federal law and enabling laws passed by the states. A good way to learn about them is to start at the “top” and work “down.” Often, federal laws begat state Laws, and enabling laws stem from those (enabling laws are those that allow the legal passage of local, instead of statewide, protective ordinances).