Janzen House History

Designed by the Marquette architectural firm Lovejoy and Demar, the Hotel Janzen was built in either 1890 or 1893. The railroad hotel was conveniently located near the Duluth, South shore and Atlantic Railway (DSS&A) Depot. The hotel had 34 rooms and was advertised as having modern features such as “hot and cold running water.”


In the summer of 1977, the hotel began receiving condemnation notices for failing to meet health and safety standards. A fire in 1983 damaged the Janzen to the point that its demolition seemed likely. However, a newly formed committee called “Save the Janzen” and spearheaded by City Commissioner Robert Kulisheck renovated the building after raising $30,000 and receiving matching funds from the City of Marquette.


The Janzen was purchased by the Save the Janzen Committee in January of 1984 from owner Doris M. Bullock and began operating as the as the non-profit Janzen House, a shelter “for potentially homeless people” in the Marquette area.


The Beginning 

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Downtown Marquette, Summer Day


Currently the Janzen House is governed by a Board of Directors and employs a full-time House Manager and a part-time Night Manager. The Janzen House rents rooms and provides board for 27 guests at a nominal rate. It also has 5 beds in an emergency shelter that are occupied on a night by night basis. Since the Janzen House began operations in 1984 has provided more than 300,000 nights of shelter.


The Janzen house is listed as a Michigan State Historic Site for its architectural significance and as reminder of Marquette’s boom years.  

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