GRLaker

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5 hours ago, WMrapids said:

The Ramblewood area includes that strip mall and the "tower", right? I know that a dentist moved across 44th after they mentioned shady characters lurking in that tower. Skinny's always had good food in that strip mall as well.

On 28th, I noticed that there is some sort of scaffolding on the old Rogers department store. Any news about that?

Wow, really? That little strip mall area has always seemed a bit shady, and not because of all the trees. And that weird club/restaurant? I've only been in there once.

 

ramblewood.thumb.JPG.f3dffbede36c9bce46f4ba50fa8aee84.JPG

 

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10 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

And that weird club/restaurant? I've only been in there once.

 

ramblewood.thumb.JPG.f3dffbede36c9bce46f4ba50fa8aee84.JPG

 

I think you're thinking of Magoos. Skinnys is in the actual strip mall while Magoos is a separate building. I'd go to Skinnys when my brother lived in Ramblewood.

As for the Rogers building, I know that Advanced was looking to move there but I was just curious as to what they were doing to the exterior of the building.

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48 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I've been long-awaiting the developer to say "j/k" and do a total revamp of the whole thing.

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On 6/21/2017 at 8:01 AM, GRDadof3 said:

ramblewood.thumb.JPG.f3dffbede36c9bce46f4ba50fa8aee84.JPG

 

Here's an "after"  pic from yesterday showing what it looks like now that the shade has been removed:

594d0534db2ca_RamblewoodClearcut1.thumb.JPG.9d143b9867b705781be4527c8d479be4.JPG

Here's a more dramatic shot from the north end of the shopping center looking south toward 44th.  The back of the abandoned restaurant, McGoos, is in the foreground on the right.  Not long ago this was thick woods:

594d05ca54e75_RamblewoodClearcut2.thumb.JPG.e0dac4b5b09758c58545398ba3e64720.JPG

When it was built, Ramblewood was the ideal in apartment complex design: it had mixed use with the shopping center and the office building, a ski hill, a very nice community building with an indoor pool and a social director, and it blended in with its surroundings with its winding roads and thick woods.  The trim on the office building and the shopping center was natural wood which didn't age well and was later painted.  And for a long time it had a long waiting list to get in.  Before Ramblewood suburban apartment developments around here consisted of lined up rows of buildings reminiscent of army barracks.  Both 44th Street and Byron Center Road were two lane roads back then with a blinking traffic light where they met.  Most everything west of Ramblewood was farmland.  Times change.  

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9 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

A skil hill? Really? Did it have a tow rope? That's an interesting little factoid!

Joe

Rope tow.  Obviously it didn't have much of a vertical drop. 

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23 hours ago, WMrapids said:

Like I said before. North Korea?

IMG_5632.thumb.JPG.f5c5f5352b83835905cd6529a9b44cc0.JPGIMG_5633.JPG.475489165bd5fa3211d4fdedb4fbcaf7.JPG

:rofl:  Damn that cuts. 

13 hours ago, walker said:

Here's an "after"  pic from yesterday showing what it looks like now that the shade has been removed:

594d0534db2ca_RamblewoodClearcut1.thumb.JPG.9d143b9867b705781be4527c8d479be4.JPG

Here's a more dramatic shot from the north end of the shopping center looking south toward 44th.  The back of the abandoned restaurant, McGoos, is in the foreground on the right.  Not long ago this was thick woods:

594d05ca54e75_RamblewoodClearcut2.thumb.JPG.e0dac4b5b09758c58545398ba3e64720.JPG

When it was built, Ramblewood was the ideal in apartment complex design: it had mixed use with the shopping center and the office building, a ski hill, a very nice community building with an indoor pool and a social director, and it blended in with its surroundings with its winding roads and thick woods.  The trim on the office building and the shopping center was natural wood which didn't age well and was later painted.  And for a long time it had a long waiting list to get in.  Before Ramblewood suburban apartment developments around here consisted of lined up rows of buildings reminiscent of army barracks.  Both 44th Street and Byron Center Road were two lane roads back then with a blinking traffic light where they met.  Most everything west of Ramblewood was farmland.  Times change.  

I remember in college when I talked about moving to Grand Rapids, someone said I should look at Ramblewood because they said it looked like a State Park with all of the woods and winding roads. That was in the early 90's. 

I definitely remember when Rivertown Parkway was a two-lane road that jogged eerily to the South for a few miles South of 44th Street through empty fields. That was only about 20 years ago. 

 

 

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Speaking of large apartment complexes, here's the one on the East Beltline near 3 Mile/Spectrum Health. 

Clubhouse and several buildings underway:

35108973780_3195321b8d_b.jpg

 

Goes all the way through to the next street East which is Dunnigan. This is looking from Dunnigan East, Spectrum Health is the building to the right. 

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Another shot from Dunnigan, just looks like massive piles of sand. The treeline way off is along the Beltline. 

35328416082_47798b5d16_h.jpg

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3 hours ago, walker said:

Slow news day on the planet so I thought I'd add this footnote to the ski hill story -

Not that I ever doubted that people would believe me about the ski hill, I thought on my walk today I’d head out to the Ramblewood /  44th Street area to do some archaeological research to see if I could find any remnants of the ski hill and I did.  Just off 44th on Stonebridge is the tower at the top of the tow where the lift operator would sit.  (In the background is the top of an apartment building – not part of the tower.)

59504e79ef080_ramblewoodskilift1.thumb.JPG.c4f124c79ffe44fa9825f197f7725b37.JPG 

That little building is in such good shape I checked their website just to make sure they don’t still list the ski hill as an amenity.  They don’t.  Here’s a shot from the bottom of the hill behind the community building.  I’d estimate it’s about a sixty foot vertical drop:  

59504eb61f986_ramblewoodskilift2.thumb.JPG.a1b52d04a6d11f73d3f90bbb1fc315bb.JPG

EDIT: well it doesn't look like sixty feet vertical from this shot but it sure felt like it when I walked up it.

That is one of the most fascinating things I've read on this site in a long time. Where would one find this amenity? :)

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When I lived at Ramblewood I'd set up a blanket on the hill to lay down on and watch meteor showers.  And when I was a kid I think my parents would take me to this hill to go sledding in the late 80s.

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8 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

That is one of the most fascinating things I've read on this site in a long time. Where would one find this amenity? :)

It's maybe 100 yards into the 44th street/Stonebridge entrance on the left side. I had no idea it existed either. Seems dangerous to have skiiers going toward a large group of trees...Unless they had some kind of barrier down there to stop them before they hit the treeline. 

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9 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

That is one of the most fascinating things I've read on this site in a long time. Where would one find this amenity? :)

At first I thought you were being sarcastic but then I decided maybe you are just easily amused.

29 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

It's maybe 100 yards into the 44th street/Stonebridge entrance on the left side. I had no idea it existed either. Seems dangerous to have skiiers going toward a large group of trees...Unless they had some kind of barrier down there to stop them before they hit the treeline. 

Yeah, here is a Google satellite view I was preparing when you posted your reply, GRLaker.  The tow building is circled.  There is a fence surrounding what used to be tennis courts but is now a parking lot.  Don't know which would have been worse, hitting a tree or hitting a fence.  Don't know but I'd speculate that they stopped using it because it was a lot of bother and for liability reasons and likely most of the people that showed up weren't even rent paying residents (for example; tSlater's parents.)  

 595100196c31a_googleviewramblewoodskitowtower.png.98408e187ee59d515e8757b9271a2874.png

Edited by walker
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47 minutes ago, walker said:

At first I thought you were being sarcastic but then I decided maybe you are just easily amused.

Yeah, here is a Google satellite view I was preparing when you posted your reply, GRLaker.  The tow building is circled.  There is a fence surrounding what used to be tennis courts but is now a parking lot.  Don't know which would have been worse, hitting a tree or hitting a fence.  Don't know but I'd speculate that they stopped using it because it was a lot of bother and for liability reasons and likely most of the people that showed up weren't even rent paying residents (for example; tSlater's parents.)  

 595100196c31a_googleviewramblewoodskitowtower.png.98408e187ee59d515e8757b9271a2874.png

I'm both easily amused and hard to impress at the same time. :lol:

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10 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

That is one of the most fascinating things I've read on this site in a long time. Where would one find this amenity? :)

I'll second this.  I love these semi-mysterious finds from the past that still linger in the urban landscape.  Kind of hiding in plain sight.

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7 hours ago, walker said:

likely most of the people that showed up weren't even rent paying residents (for example; tSlater's parents.)  

My parents back then were rent paying residents.  I was too young back then to remember which building, but we definitely lived there.

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3 hours ago, tSlater said:

My parents back then were rent paying residents.  I was too young back then to remember which building, but we definitely lived there.

Stand corrected then.  I thought I remembered you writing many years ago that your family lived around Wayland or someplace like that out in the country.  I suppose both could be true.  The other real possibility is that I'm remembering wrong.  

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22 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

That is one of the most fascinating things I've read on this site in a long time. Where would one find this amenity? :)

I think this must have been a 60s thing. Western Michigan University also had a little ski hill in Goldsworthy Valley, to the west of the dorms. Nowadays, I think it's mostly taken up by the business school.

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On Monday I noticed some construction on Wilson Ave, just to the south of the now-defunct Sears Auto Center. It looks like a large, barn/market-like building with multiple entrances. I couldn't remember hearing about this, does anyone know what's shaking there?

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41 minutes ago, thebeerqueer said:

On Monday I noticed some construction on Wilson Ave, just to the south of the now-defunct Sears Auto Center. It looks like a large, barn/market-like building with multiple entrances. I couldn't remember hearing about this, does anyone know what's shaking there?

Someone mentioned it somewhere here but it's a Duluth Trading Co:

https://mibiz.com/item/24791-outdoor-goods-retailers-eye-west-michigan-shopping-centers

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