±

Grand Rapids Then and Now

393 posts in this topic

Posted

Well it was suggested to start a separate thread for these pictures I have from around Grand Rapids taken circa.1991. I posted the first batch in the West Michigan - Metro Grand Rapids Photos of the Day thread. Do you have some older construction photos of the GR area? Sorry for the quality, these are 35mm 4x6 pictures scanned to my computer.

Here goes, can you match up a current shot of these pictures?

GrandRapidscirca19912.jpg

Stadium Arena is just left of center in this picture and the first reddish brick building is just going up on the old Green Ridge Golf course up on Alpine Avenue just to the right of the tower in the foreground of the picture.

GrandRapidscirca19913.jpg

The old burnt old looking warehouses are I believe are on the North side of Ann Street, West of the river.

GrandRapidscirca19914.jpg

Stadium Arena is just right of Center and the white Water tower on 4-Mile just West of Alpine is in the distance on the left side of the picture.

GrandRapidscirca19915.jpg

Westbound I-196 from that little lookout North of the highway and Spectrum health. Just to the right of I-196 on the river is a little 2 story hotel that used to be a halfway house or something. Its long gone now.

GrandRapidscirca199126.jpg

Eastbound I-196 from the West side of the river. No development at Butterworth Hospital and the Medical Hill project may not even be someones dream yet in this picture.

GrandRapidscirca199127.jpg

A plaza towers construction picture I missed from the first thread I was posting these in.

GrandRapidscirca199129.jpg

You can't see this view any longer.

GrandRapidscirca199131.jpg

The Hall of Justice and the Police Building before DeVos Place was built.

GrandRapidscirca199134.jpg

Before Spectrum health there was Butterworth Hospital and Blodget Hospital. I think the VanAndel Institute would get in the way of this picture today.

GrandRapidscirca199135.jpg

The Northwest end of the old Monroe Amphitheater, currently Rosa Parks circle. I actually liked that cascading water monument and the kids loved it on hot summer days.

GrandRapidscirca199155.jpg

Monroe Mall?! Chinese food anyone?

GrandRapidscirca199158.jpg

The future site of the VanAndel Institute. The Butterworth Hospital Nurse school dormitory is the brick building on the right hand side of the picture.

GrandRapidscirca199160.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Posted (edited)

I liked the photo of the brick "fountain/waterfall" thing. That wasn't up for very long. Aside from being replaced by Rosa Parks Circle and the reopening of the street, can anyone explain to me why it was so short lived?

Edited by d59

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Wow this very interesting. So much has been done over the years. Yuck, I'm sure glad they replaced the ugly looking brick design on the Grand Plaza Tower. That design pattern is ugly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Oh, I totally disagree Wolverine. The old brick pattern was much richer than the current pre-cast concrete panels that are on there now.

In this picture

GrandRapidscirca19914.jpg

that is a warehouse on North Monroe that is still there and looks like that still, the "red tower" thing is the Monroe Avenue Filtration Plant that is now renovated and being re-used as office space, and the Baker Furniture factory still being used by them today.

I'll have to study these some more to find some interesting tidbits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Wow this very interesting. So much has been done over the years. Yuck, I'm sure glad they replaced the ugly looking brick design on the Grand Plaza Tower. That design pattern is ugly.

I think the Plaza Towers looked MUCH better with that facade, I didn't even know it was changed. I think the Plaza Towers as they are now are pretty ugly, the brown brick is nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I think the Plaza Towers looked MUCH better with that facade, I didn't even know it was changed. I think the Plaza Towers as they are now are pretty ugly, the brown brick is nice.

100_0508.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I was only 6 years old at this time, but I remember the construction of Plaza Towers and Bridgewater Place. Wasn't the Plaza Tower originally a Raddison Hotel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I have to say that I like the look of the new facade better; it is more modern looking and the dark brick gave it an old feeling. Besides, it wasn't structurally correct and leaked, which is why it was replaced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Oh, I totally disagree Wolverine. The old brick pattern was much richer than the current pre-cast concrete panels that are on there now.

I can't say that I like either version in their entirety. The red brick is certainly a much nicer material, but I'm not fond of all of the little tan sqaures that made an almost cherbord patern on the facade. I like the new design for the longer sections of horizontal windows on the corner but not the concrete clading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Well for the record, I'm no fan of precast concrete either. But the new facade at least looks less frantic. That checkboard placement of those grayish colored squares between the windows on the old facade is terrible looking. For some reason, architects of the 90's had a liking of putting unnecessary geometrical forms where they don't belong. I think if the Plaza was built today with a brick facade, it would be done much more beautifully. I also question what kind of brick they used then. I heard it was falling apart as well, so I'm guessing it was precast brick panels. If they would have continued the horizontal bands up the tower like they did at the base, then you'd have a winner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I can't say that I like either version in their entirety. The red brick is certainly a much nicer material, but I'm not fond of all of the little tan sqaures that made an almost cherbord patern on the facade. I like the new design for the longer sections of horizontal windows on the corner but not the concrete clading.

Its my understanding that the original developer of what was then known as "East Bank" cut costs by using materials that were not recommended by the architect, to the point that the architects made the developer 'sign off' on the changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Here's a repeat of the AGP under construction (in small format):

72963142_62f040981a.jpg

72960582_6bc6ad9131.jpg

72964237_71d2c2ad9e.jpg

72963472_882539a4fc.jpg

BTW: I was in a Middle School far away when this was built, so I did not take these :blush: (I'm not THAT old)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Well for the record, I'm no fan of precast concrete either. But the new facade at least looks less frantic. That checkboard placement of those grayish colored squares between the windows on the old facade is terrible looking. For some reason, architects of the 90's had a liking of putting unnecessary geometrical forms where they don't belong. I think if the Plaza was built today with a brick facade, it would be done much more beautifully. I also question what kind of brick they used then. I heard it was falling apart as well, so I'm guessing it was precast brick panels. If they would have continued the horizontal bands up the tower like they did at the base, then you'd have a winner.

Could you imagine the cost of trying to put this entire building in brick? I don't think that it would have been economically feasible to do something like that. And God forbid any of them coming loose, that would have not made the area too pedestrian friendly. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I can't say that I like either version in their entirety.

Agreed. There's nothing terribly exciting about Plaza Towers.

It isn't exactly 1991, but if anyone would lend me their Cessna for the weekend :wub: , I'd love to get a before & after comparision of this shot:

post-1818-1142314645_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Here's a repeat of the AGP under construction (in small format):

72963142_62f040981a.jpg

BTW: I was in a Middle School far away when this was built, so I did not take these :blush: (I'm not THAT old)

Hey look, you can see the old weatherball in that picture, near the top right of the picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

And look at 50 Monroe (Huntington/TGIF) in the middle upper right in this picture, pre-aluminum casing:

72963472_882539a4fc.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

72963142_62f040981a.jpg

Does the building on the corner of Ottawa and Monroe Center (the one across Ottawa from the new GRAM site) have some sort of modern casing in this photo? It's hard to tell at this size, but if it did I didn't know it ever had that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I thinks thats the Van Hoeks Shoes building. Yes it had the same chessy 60's makeover that many buildings had in the DT area back then. It has since been removed and looks 100% better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

And look at 50 Monroe (Huntington/TGIF) in the middle upper right in this picture, pre-aluminum casing:

Will someone please circle this for me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Agreed. There's nothing terribly exciting about Plaza Towers.

It isn't exactly 1991, but if anyone would lend me their Cessna for the weekend :wub: , I'd love to get a before & after comparision of this shot:

What is the building on the triangular land on fulton, louis and ottawa? There is a parking lot there now, but it looks like there was a decent sized building there at one time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Will someone please circle this for me?

592vv.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Here you go Mike:

Imge gone

EDIT

HAHA, never mind :rofl:

Edited by Rizzo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Agreed. There's nothing terribly exciting about Plaza Towers.

It isn't exactly 1991, but if anyone would lend me their Cessna for the weekend :wub: , I'd love to get a before & after comparision of this shot:

GR091102_7%20copy.jpg

Photo by photography-plus (obviously).

The lady that takes the pictures has a whole bunch and will sell you prints. I have one framed next to one of those 1880's-era renderings of downtown, and both of the images are from the same angle. It makes for a pretty neat "then-and-now". :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Puts the 30 arcres and Market/Fulton into perspective.

Edited by Rizzo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I thinks thats the Van Hoeks Shoes building. Yes it had the same chessy 60's makeover that many buildings had in the DT area back then. It has since been removed and looks 100% better

Does anyone have any pictures of the way this building used to be? I am posting this from my office in that building now, it now goes by Aldrich Place. Ed DeVries & Co. a really nice job redoing it. I just can't remember what it used to look like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

±