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GRDadof3

Grand Rapids Photos II

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As Wolverine said over in the Detroit forum, that was quite a server breakdown.

"I didn't have anything to do at work .... except work" :D

Some new spots I bet some of you didn't even know existed. See if you can find the spot (actually go there):

Historic Villa Maria School - 1904

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"Dissected Pyramids" Joseph Kinnebrew IV and "La Grand Vitesse" Alexander Calder

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Calder Plaza

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It's amazing all of the little "gardens" downtown that I didn't know exisited. Check out the one from where I took this photo^ right in front of the Federal Building

"Motu" Mark Di Suvero Swing

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Federal Plaza, Chicago - Just Kidding! Vandenberg Center - Skidmore Owings & Merrill

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I'm not one of the "International Modernism" preservation fans, so I would not miss these buildings. I think the best TEMPORARY fix they could do to make this plaza not so hostile to Monroe Avenue and Devos Place would be to blow open those walls with huge wide steps leading up to the plaza with cascading waterfalls intermingled :)

Mini Calder

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Grand Rapids Public Museum - standing atop "Indian Mounds"

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"Flying Wild Geese" Marshall Fredericks

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"Reflections" - Public Museum

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Anglers on the Grand

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"Tent" on the West Bank

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View of the East Bank

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More to come.

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Reflecting Pool at Gerald Ford Museum

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"American Eagle" Marshall Fredericks

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Falling Water at Ford Museum (Occassionally a 30' geyser comes out of the center)

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"Lorrie's Button" Hy Zelkowitz - An-Nab-Awen Park

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Future burial site for Gerald Ford

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Fountain Street Church Area

"Aspiration of Inspiration" Joseph Kinnebrew IV

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Fountain dedicated to a prominent faculty member at GRJC in 1955 (I'll bet LADave will know who)

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"Conversations", Carl Green - With Fountain Street Church in background

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Fountain Street Church - Rebuilt in 1924 after a fire destroyed it in 1917

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Front Door

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Veterans Memorial Park Pillars and Fountain - Originally construced in 1924

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Heritage Hill

Calkins Law Office - 1836 - Moved here from Monroe & Ottawa - with bust of Abraham Lincoln

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300 State Street - Not the original building here - (I'm not sure where this "firehouse" came from, but I like it) - St Mary's Lacks Cancer Center in background

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Waters House - 20 College Ave SE - 1900 - Water co-founded the largest furniture exposition building in the country at the time, Waters Building - tucked behind Waters House Apartments

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Byrne Hanchett House - 125 College Ave SE - 1891

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Voight House - 115 College Ave SE - 1895 - Lowe House in Background

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Lowe House - 103 College Ave SE - 1895

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I'm not that da-- old! :D

I don't know the faculty member -- 1955 is even before my (cognizant) time. I did enjoy the pictures of the Calkins law office -- I recall as a kid that this building was located along Ionia Street, north of Michigan. I don't know if that was the original location, or if it had been moved there.

Fountain Street church is not a rebuild, but a total replacement of the structure that burned in 1917. I think the original was sort of Gothic, but the pictures I have seen were not clear. If anyone has not seen the inside of Fountain Street Church, you are missing one of the best Romanesque/Byzantine (I think I have that right) interiors in the Midwest. The stained glass is exquisite -- don't miss the image of Charles Darwin.

By the way, anyone interested in churches in GR must read "Gathered by the River." I think it is the best contemporary history of GR, period, much better than the 1966 "History of Grand Rapids". Given the importance of religion to GR, the history of the churches is as much a history of the town. See, for example, the discussion of the 1911 furniture strike in "Gathered by the River" and how the various churches handled the strike. (Protestant churches tended to be anti-striker, Catholic parishes tended to be pro-striker and the Episcopalians tried to mediate in the middle.)

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I'm not that da-- old! :D

I don't know the faculty member -- 1955 is even before my (cognizant) time.  I did enjoy the pictures of the Calkins law office -- I recall as a kid that this building was located along Ionia Street, north of Michigan.  I don't know if that was the original location, or if it had been moved there. 

Fountain Street church is not a rebuild, but a total replacement of the structure that burned in 1917.  I think the original was sort of Gothic, but the pictures I have seen were not clear.  If anyone has not seen the inside of Fountain Street Church, you are missing one of the best Romanesque/Byzantine (I think I have that right) interiors in the Midwest.  The stained glass is exquisite -- don't miss the image of Charles Darwin. 

By the way, anyone interested in churches in GR must read "Gathered by the River."  I think it is the best contemporary history of GR, period, much better than the 1966 "History of Grand Rapids".  Given the importance of religion to GR, the history of the churches is as much a history of the town.  See, for example, the discussion of the 1911 furniture strike in "Gathered by the River" and how the various churches handled the strike.  (Protestant churches tended to be anti-striker, Catholic parishes tended to be pro-striker and the Episcopalians tried to mediate in the middle.)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Calkins Law Office apparently was moved to Ionia and Coldbrook and served as a residence for awhile after being at Monroe and Ottawa, before making it to State Street. Some of the most interesting architecture lies in churches, and most of which are open during the day (I have found). Sorry about the 1955 slight ;) I think the fountain was dedicated to the President of GRJC at the time, who died in 1955.

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"Federal Plaza, Chicago - Just Kidding! Vandenberg Center - Skidmore Owings & Merrill"

That's funny! I'm looking out over the Federal Plaza right now, as our office is just across the street! Looks nearly Identical. The shorter building here on the plaza is the Loop post office. Buildings on the Federal Plaza were designed by Mies Van de Rohe. Calder's red "Flamingo" stabile is the centerpiece of the plaza.

An interesting fact: Inside the post office facing the stabile is a small replica of the Flamingo. It speaks of Calder and his public art, and even metions "La Grande Vitesse in Grand Rapids, Michigan" as a prime example of this type of art that Calder produced.

Lots of activity down on the plaza. Jessie Jackson loves to hold his rallies down there. Always a war protest or somthing going on.

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Well, mpChicago: I much prefer your federal building to the GR City Hall and County Building; much better to get the real thing (van der Rohe) than the imitator (SOM). Nonetheless, I still sort of like the GR buildings as representative of cool late 60's international style.

As I recall, the small replica of "La Grande Vitesse" was made to allow blind persons to "see" the sculpture. I wonder if that is the same thinking behind the model of Flamingo.

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Well, mpChicago:  I much prefer your federal building to the GR City Hall and County Building; much better to get the real thing (van der Rohe) than the imitator (SOM).  Nonetheless, I still sort of like the GR buildings as representative of cool late 60's international style. 

As I recall, the small replica of "La Grande Vitesse" was made to allow blind persons to "see" the sculpture.  I wonder if that is the same thinking behind the model of Flamingo.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Federal Plaza and "Flamingo" Chicago

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I think SOM even used the same building materials and color pallette :huh:

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I do have to say that SOM has done some amazing projects, and their new design for the Freedom Tower at the WTC site is pretty cool. They also are doing a massive job of making the Renaissance Center in Detroit more inviting to downtown and the riverfront (can they come re-do their plaza here ;) ). They have some great flyover videos on their website of the Freedom Tower design:

http://www.som.com/opener.cfm

Way better at high speed than 56K.

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I was on Calder plaza the other day at 12:00pm and I counted exactly 2 people besides myself (and it was 75 and sunny). Pathetic! They need to sell off the majority of this space and build something.

I also had the pleasure to visit the county and city building and have to say they would have been wise to take the Gallium Group's offer and run.

I may repeat myself, but why did Jack Buchanan have to get to ZERO while Alticor got $11 Million from the city? I'm not beotching about the Marriott but it does make one go "hmmm...".

Joe

Well, mpChicago:  I much prefer your federal building to the GR City Hall and County Building; much better to get the real thing (van der Rohe) than the imitator (SOM).  Nonetheless, I still sort of like the GR buildings as representative of cool late 60's international style. 

As I recall, the small replica of "La Grande Vitesse" was made to allow blind persons to "see" the sculpture.  I wonder if that is the same thinking behind the model of Flamingo.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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I was on Calder plaza the other day at 12:00pm and I counted exactly 2 people besides myself (and it was 75 and sunny). Pathetic! They need to sell off the majority of this space and build something.

I also had the pleasure to visit the county and city building and have to say they would have been wise to take the Gallium Group's offer and run.

I may repeat myself, but why did Jack Buchanan have to get to ZERO while Alticor got $11 Million from the city? I'm not beotching about the Marriott but it does make one go "hmmm...".

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

We're one of a few cities where we can say "Asphalt, not just for parking anymore" LOL. I think one lone preservationist wanted to save the two buildings at the time that Gallium's (Buchanan's) proposal was going around, and I found an architectural preservation forum at the time where they were all bemoaning the fact that an "International" collection was going to be destroyed. Of course, none of the forumers were from Grand Rapids and could see what a waste of precious space the whole plaza is. They can find somewhere else to have Celebration on the Grand.

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If anyone has not seen the inside of Fountain Street Church, you are missing one of the best Romanesque/Byzantine (I think I have that right) interiors in the Midwest. The stained glass is exquisite -- don't miss the image of Charles Darwin.

I believe that they give tours. I went through it with an Architecture class I took at CC once. Amazing interior. The attention to detail really sticks out.

Darwin is in it because it is one of the few true non-denomational churches in town. I have been to a few weddings there, everything from atheist to Jewish - it is just a perfect setting.

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much better to get the real thing (van der Rohe) than the imitator (SOM). 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

SOM wasn't called "Three Blind Mies" for nothing.

Nitro

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Nitro: :rofl:

superNOVA: When I was a kid Fountain Street Church was considered pretty radical in a conservative town. Maybe it still is. There was a famous feud btween the senior minister at Fountain Street, Duncan Littlefair (known in some circles as Duncan "Littlefaith") and the senior pastor at Wealthy Street Baptist Church. Incredibly enough, Fountain Street Church was originally the senior Baptist church in GR, but was either kicked out, or left, the Baptist group to which it belonged.

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Would anyone like to see more pictures? :D

Jade Pig Ventures office on Michigan Ave (A favorite of mine):

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Fountain Street at First Park Church

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"Girdled Figure", Tom Czarnopys, 1997

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"Legend of Grand Rapids" Lumen Winter, 1976

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Elevator Workings - GRCC Applied Sciences

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Lyon Street Looking West

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"Fanned Arena", Lita Katzen, 1980 - GRAM Pearl Street Lawn

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"Night Flight", John Parker, 1981

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St Marks & Pearl Street

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Kendall College - Manufacturers Building

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Building on N. Division (?)

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The new Arts Council of GR Office on N. Ottawa

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How long has Rocky's on North Ottawa been open? Cool looking little pub with a patio in the back.

Old Kent County Courthouse Clock at the new courthouse (I know, it was a travesty)

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Urban Institute of Contemporary Art - Sheldon Ave

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Fergusen Apartments fire escape

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The Iowa Building - Apartments

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Offices on Jefferson (ignore the for lease sign :) )

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Half Century Apartments on Jefferson

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Lofts on Sheldon

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Unknown Artist - Lofts on Sheldon

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Art Galleries/Shops on Weston

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Morningstar Coffee on Weston

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25 S Division

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Who says there isn't a theatre downtown?

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Main Firehouse on Lagrave

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Would anyone like to see more pictures? :D  I took some great ones around the Lagrave/Sheldon/Cherry/Division area.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

yes..

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Don't miss my earlier post today^^^

Art and Buildings around St Mary's Hospital

The Dayton Building - Cherry Street Lofts complete with rooftop patio

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Enjoy!

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Belknap Neighborhood Revitalization

Caution: watch out for a tall blond power walker who doesn't like people taking photos ;)

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Historic Coit School

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And their new addition

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More homes undergoing renovation on Fairview

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Sheldon and Cathedral Area

Office Renovation on Sheldon

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Work progressing on the Avenue of the Arts

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More office reno's on Sheldon (mostly non-profits)

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Speaking of homeless people

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Recently renovated Cathedral of St. Andrew

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St. Andrew's School

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Catholic Central Gymnasium

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Catholic Central Campus with Calumet Building (1907) peaking through

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Continuation from above^^^

Grandville Avenue

The Rapid and ITP new office

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The new bus terminal (again)

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AZZAR!!

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A better picture of 72 Grandville with roof detailing

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100 Grandville

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"Spinner", Anthony Stehlik, 1998 - Corner of Weston and Market

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Old Williams Distributing Building (Street cleaners Budgie ;) )

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"Embrace" Joseph Kinnebrew IV, 2000 - GVSU Campus

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820 Monroe - Home of Lafontsee Gallery, Underground Studio, Metal Arts - Building could use some new windows ;)

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http://www.lafontsee.us/assets/home/home.htm

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More office reno's on Sheldon (mostly non-profits)

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<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I know that the non profit in that building moved to on office off cherry street :P

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Two things related to this thread and the latest City Guide issue of Grand Rapids Magazine:

1. Sam Cummings did a feature article on architecture and history of churches downtown, with contributions from Anne Prins. Hmmmmmmm, weren't we just discussing churches and architecture here not long ago..... :D

2. They also did a feature of downtown art sculptures. The author stated that they think that every new downtown project should include a major work(s) of art tied in somehow. I think that is an excellent idea. What does everyone else think?

I think that some of these works should be moved to more prominent locations. I especially can't believe that VAI does not have a major sculpture in front of it. It doesn't, does it?

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Two things related to this thread and the latest City Guide issue of Grand Rapids Magazine:

1.  Sam Cummings did a feature article on architecture and history of churches downtown, with contributions from Anne Prins.  Hmmmmmmm, weren't we just discussing churches and architecture here.....

2.  They also did a feature of downtown art sculptures.  The author stated that they think that every new downtown project should include a major work(s) of art tied in somehow.  I think that is an excellent idea.  What does everyone else think?

I think that some of these works should be moved to more prominent locations.  I especially can't believe that VAI does not have a major sculpture in front of it.  It doesn't, does it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Having works around certainly makes the sites more interesting for the pedestrian and passers-by, that's for sure. As long as it isn't one of those dopey 'modern art' things that looks like a big lump of crap :P . I think that having projects heavily geared towards pedestrians would make the biggest improvement to any area. I say this because while a piece of art can blend in nicely with a building if it is all geared towards pedestrians, but if the building is some ugly box in a parking lot, then the art looks corny. I think all that stuff has to work together to make a project really great.

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The author stated that they think that every new downtown project should include a major work(s) of art tied in somehow.

I think Kendall students should be allowed to paint any available piece of exposed concrete in the city. The students could catalog their creations and Grand Rapids would be covered in art for free. Could this work or is this dumb idea?

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I think Kendall students should be allowed to paint any available piece of exposed concrete in the city.  The students could catalog their creations and Grand Rapids would be covered in art for free.  Could this work or is this dumb idea?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Its a good idea I think, but I'd be nervous about how it would look. I've always liked some of the murals that are painted here and there, but I think that if the whole city were covered it would look kinda trashy. And there's the possibility of someone painting something ridiculous and being told to paint something else and a big first amendment battle...but you can't disallow something for that.

I think a better idea might be something like this: require lots of transparent windows on ground floor of all developments and build to the sidewalk. Then, on the inside, the developer should be encouraged by the city to display works of art that could be seen from the outside.

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Nice pictures.  I have never been to Grand Rapids but I look forward to going there someday.  Looks like there is a lot of cool places to go to.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks ZachariahDaMan! When you come, you should pick up the Grand Rapids Magazine City Guide for all the great local spots:

http://www.grmag.com/newsstands.htm

"On The Town" is also a good resource for visiting GR. They are usually in newstands in all of the downtown restaurants and bars. Also, do the Heritage Hill walking tour if you have time.

http://www.heritagehillweb.org/tours.htm

From downtown, take Fulton Street East to Lake Drive and keep heading East to check out Easttown (a lot of East alliteration there).

Anyone else have some good ideas?

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