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LA Dave

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Everything posted by LA Dave

  1. Thanks, GRDad. I completely agree with your thoughts on the logo. The first is very tasteful. The second is boorish. My hope is that taste will out. My fear is that it won't.
  2. Two questions: 1. Who is the architect? 2. Who came up with that awful green "S"? It's a medical school, but a football stadium. Not even in blessed A2 are any buildings except the Stadium marred with a block "M." Not that there's anything wrong with a block "M," mind you.
  3. Ha, ha. I remember climbing those ledges a number of years ago with friends. Can you still do that?
  4. The Meijer sons are great guys. I had a casual friendship with Hank (I played in a string quartet at his first wedding) and we went to the same high school. Boy, that article tagged it right -- Creston High graduates, if they didn't start working immediately, went to JC (as it was known then) or Central or Western. I don't think things have changed much, except that even fewer go so far as Michigan State or, heaven forfend, the University of Michigan. I think that one graduate in my class went East to college. I find it quite amazing that Hank has worked on a biography of Senator Vandenberg. Vandenberg is a major figure of 20th century American politics, and the lack of a first-rate biography is scandalous. (Frankly, absent an accidental presidency, Vandenberg would today be the most famous Grand Rapids politican, IMHO.) I hope he gets time to finish it someday.
  5. The only pictures that I have seen that can compare to these are pictures of Dresden about 1960, after the firebombing. In fact, when I was growing up in the 60s, downtown GR seemed like a World War II ruin, since the whole place was always in a state of demolition and rebuilding. That 1965 Daverman picture was very familiar -- a weird mix of a few old survivors (City Hall, County Building) amidst the rubble, with the new Daverman-designed structures going up.
  6. Great shots. I remember seeing that big power plant off I-496 when I took the "interesting way" to Ann Arbor from GR (avoiding the boring I-96 bypass). Does Lansing still have a municipal power corporation, or has it been amalgamated into the big utilities?
  7. The aerial is spectacular, if for no other reason than the great depiction of the old Union Station complex. I would date the aerial to sometime between 1940 and 1949, since you can just make out the edge of the GR Public Museum on the right edge of the picture (a building finished in 1940) and the new Herpelsheimer's store (now GRPD HQ) was still not built at the corner of Monroe, Fulton and Division.
  8. Not actually. It is an original Calder design, but not a "mural" of La Grande Vitesse.
  9. Nice pics, LMichigan. But it seems to this old former Wolverine that the water in those fountains is dyed -- Blue. Sabotage courtesy of the arrogant ones in Ann Arbor??
  10. I always thought South Quad looked like a refugee from Pruitt Igoe or Cabrini Green.
  11. And it looks like a ripoff of my old dorm at Michigan, West Quad. Great in 1939 -- less great in 1999.
  12. How is that neighborhood doing? Absolutely incredible views, but I remember it as being a pretty rough 'hood. There are good houses up there, however, and it is very close to downtown.
  13. I am more than a little offended that you would call this a "perfect story" or ":like an urban myth." I wrote that it was a true story. I witnessed it personally. My wife witnessed it personally. Your suggestions make it sounds like I was trying to put one over on the board. I suggest that you be a little more careful in your comments in the future.
  14. Would you care to explain yourself, GRDad? The story is absolutely true. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you.
  15. A personal story about Fred Meijer. My mother happened to have a passing acquaintance with Mrs. Meijer and mentioned one day that it was too bad that the Meijer store she shopped at did not have a particular kind of pancake mix that her grandson (my eldest) loved. It happened that we were about to visit my parents, hence the comment. We were sitting in the living room one afternoon when an Oldsmobile (not new, mind you) pulls up outside the house. Out of the car strides an older man who, upon reaching the door, says to my surprised parents, "Here, I hope this is the mix that Lena told me about." It was Fred Meijer.
  16. I remember the Bavarian. My friend Chuck called it the "Barvarian". Ah, memories.
  17. Yes, Rogers Plaza was the first "mall," and the first major shopping center outside of the downtown area. It opened in 1961 and was a huge hit from the start, even though its anchor store, Montgomery Wards, wasn't one of the downtown Big 3 (Wurzburg, Herpolsheimer's or Steketee).
  18. Wow! That shot really brought me back. The newest car that I could spot was a 1961 Chevy, but the picture might have been taken a year or two later. No weatherball -- that was about 1967, as I recall. Downtown (at least on Monroe Street) was really something in those days, but the handwriting (in the form of the suburban malls) was already on the wall. Rogers Plaza had already opened (don't laugh folks -- it was a real draw during the Kennedy Administration) and Woodland and East Brook malls were in the planning stages.
  19. As much as I am a true Blue Wolverine, I am delighted that GR will be getting the MSU medical school and associated research elements. This sort of high-tech development brings with it good jobs, smart people and a lot of spin-off potential for the community.
  20. Gawd, that hotel building is awful. Really awful. Makes most all other high-rises in Ann Arbor looks like [name your favorite architect] awful.
  21. WOW! Those brought back memories, good and bad. The postcard on top looks like an early 50s view of downtown. The Wurzburg store (demolished in 1971 or 72) was formerly Herpelsheimer's; Herps moved to the City Center building at the corner of Fulton, Division and Monroe in 1949 and I think Wurzburg's moved into the old Herps building in 1951. I don't know where Wurzburg's was before that time. Monroe was red brick, by the way, not asphalt. The lower picture looks like the hideous mall that Monroe became in the 70s. That destroyed a prime cruising location for us high school guys, along with much of the remaining retail traffic. I hope that this street is doing better now.
  22. No. The old Union Station on Ionia was torn down in about 1960. Prior to that time, passenger rail service on the Pennsylvania Railroad (Grand Rapids & Indiana) had ceased and the Chesapeake & Ohio (former Pere Marquette) moved its passenger station to the Wyoming Yards, off Market Street. (The building may still be there.) The current station south of Wealthy was built by Amtrak when the GR to Chicago rail service re-started in the 80s. There was no passenger rail service in GR from 1971 until that time.
  23. I agree, though clearly surpassed by the stunning federal building, a prime example of 1972 aesthetic.
  24. Ah, the other Bell Tower. It looks very ominous in that shot. Great picture.
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