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Mega-mansion in Michigan aims to set precedent for historic places by achieving net zero energy

By John Kirchner December 20, 2011

A 17,000-square-foot mega-mansion built in the 1920s might seem the least likely home to achieve net-zero status. However, that’s the vision of Pat Hoezee Meyer, a Michigan woman who stumbled upon the abandoned, decaying property years ago while hiking the Saugatuck Dunes in Michigan.

During its storied history, the Felt Estate has served as a home, a seminary, a minimum-security prison and a State Police Post. Now, Hoezee Meyer envisions an ambitious community-led restoration project that would make the estate the first property on the National Registry of Historic Places to achieve net zero energy.

“Instead of spending $2,000 a month on energy costs, we need to spend it on renewable energy sources,” Hoezee Meyer said in a recent article by Matt Grocoff for OldHouseWeb.com.

We certainly hope the Felt Estate sets a precedent for historic places, but it begs questioning: If a 17,000-square-foot mansion built in the 1920s can be converted to net zero, which home can’t?

[Photos courtesy OldHouseWeb.com]