Announcing the First Recipient of my Historic Preservation Award!

Home / Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award / Announcing the First Recipient of my Historic Preservation Award!

Lansing craftsman brings old homes back to life!

I believe that beautiful old buildings, with true craftsmanship should be preserved and maintained so that they can continue to serve an example of what QUALITY architectural design and construction is all about.  In my opinion, such homes and buildings are art forms — that’s what inspires me to paint them. The award is my way of recognizing individuals who have been instrumental in preserving the historic buildings of their area.  Naturally the award I present is a framed pen and watercolor painting of the awardees latest historic project.

The first recipient of my Historic Preservation Award therefore will go to Dave Muylle, a person who epitomizes true craftsmanship and quality restoration. Being that I am in Lansing currently with it being the launching point for our trip westward to California, it only seemed fitting to recognize a stellar Lansing individual. On our trip I will be finding other worthy individuals along the way and presenting them with my award.  It is an exciting opportunity to meet and acknowledge some of the finest individuals who are preserving the heritage of our great country!

The Lansing presentation will take place on Saturday, April 13th, 3013, outside Dave’s latest completed project at 141 Leslie Street, Lansing.

Here’s Dave followed by a biography — you have to admit it’s pretty awesome!  (Following the bio are some more photos of Dave’s current and recent projects.)

Dave Muylle, the first recipient of the Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award


Dave Muylle is a licensed builder and long time resident of Lansing, Michigan who has been thoughtfully preserving and restoring homes in his local community for more than 30 years.

Dave is down-to-earth and practical in his restoration and preservation efforts, and prefers to describe his work as “recycling homes”. His personal philosophy is common sense and he plans each project with great care, taking into consideration how people will live in his finished spaces.

He specializes in recycling deteriorating homes in danger of demolition, rejuvenating them from the ground up and returning them to their original beauty and usefulness. He guts the interiors on most of his projects, taking them down to the basic structure, stabilizes the foundations and structural framing, then reinvents the interiors with a mixture of old and new including energy efficient heating, cooling, windows, insulation, and appliances.

Dave is a firm believer in sustainability and utilizes the original materials and design features of any structure he refurbishes while also including his own person touches and creativity. He does this mostly just for the fun of it.

He has been known to define sustainability as three components: craftsmanship, restoration, community.

His application of craftsmanship means using quality materials and installing them correctly so that they are easily maintained and will outlast cheaper materials and methods.

His philosophy of restoration is centered on salvaging and reutilizing the existing energies embodied in any structure. Instead of dumping old materials and parts, which is tantamount to tossing out existing energy, Dave reharnesses the energy that it once required to cut down the tree, mill it into usable lumber, move it to the construction site, and build the original house. Dave looks at an old house and sees… energy!

His idea of community is that sustainability sits on a foundation of interest and live energy supplied by local community residents who value and give meaning to the homes they live in and see them as useful commodities to be passed on to future generations.

Some of Dave’s beautiful completed preservation projects can be seen at 831 N. Washington Ave (Creyts Building), 225 Rumsey Avenue, 1521 Vine Street, 124 Regent Street, 127/129 Leslie Street, 139 Leslie Street, and 141 Leslie Street.

Additionally, Dave is dedicated to his local community and has a history of unselfish contribution to local projects and education such as workshops, fundraising, and guided tours.

He is an active member of the Michigan Historical Preservation Network and other local organizations that support preservation and the recycling of existing homes.

Dave has received numerous community awards. Below are some of them:

Stewardship Award (2000), for 225 Rumsey Avenue

sponsored by Lansing Historic District Commission

Historic Preservation and Stewardship Award (2002), for 831 N Washington Avenue sponsored by Lansing Historic District Commission

Respectful Rehabilitation Award (2003), for 1521 Vine Street

sponsored by Lansing Historic District Commission

Preservation Lansing Award (2012), for 127/129 Leslie Street sponsored by Preservation Lansing


Dave Muylle at work on his current project on Regent Street, Lansing
Dave’s Muylle’s restored home on Regent Street.
Dave’s restored duplex project on Leslie St.

That’s it for now!