MARQUETTE — A groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier today for a 14 million dollar project at a very special place in Marquette County. Melanie Palmer takes us on a rare tour of the inside of the Holy Cross Orphanage.

The chapel still standing, wood trimmings in near perfect condition, and some windows unbroken. These are just some of the unexpected sights seen in a more than a century old building. After much anticipation from residents around Marquette County, the Holy Cross Orphanage officially opened its doors today giving tours out to the public.

These tours came in response to the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Grandview Marquette apartments. Through a group collaboration and a lot of faith, organizations throughout the community came together to plan renovations for the orphanage into affordable apartments.

“This is such as landmark and part of the history of the U.P. and just to preserve the building and preserve the story that went on here and then to reuse it for a need that really exists in this town” said Barry Polzin, Architect for the Grandview Marquette.

The process began when the Michigan State Housing Development Authority granted historic credits to Community Action of Alger & Marquette. Since then, other organizations such as the Old National Bank, HRS Communities, Insite Capital, and Wolverine Building joined the project.

“Everybody knows this building and because it’s such an icon and I’ve been hearing about this building for three years and it’s great that it’s finally coming to fruition” said Marcus Ringnalda, Project Manager for Wolverine Building.

56 rooms are to be placed inside of the Grandview Apartments, with the option of a one, two, or three bedroom unit.
Eight of these units will be for recently homeless individuals and families in need. The infamous chapel will be used as a recreation center and for tenants to rent our for special occasions.

Members from all over the community came out to show their support for the renovations and to get a sneak peak of the inside.

“This is a wonderful thing, the construction that is going to go on and the revitalization of this building, there are so many people that remember what this building looked like in its hay day. We’re going to have it back to a wonderful, architectural landmark” said State Rep. Scott Dianda.

There’s still not an exact date when the apartments will be done but the estimated time is sometime next year.

Prints of any of Joan’s photos from the slideshow today are available by e-mailing her at