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GRDadof3

New Construction Update Photos - Circa 1981/82

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I have some photos you guys are going to love! They are aerial photos of the Amway Grand under construction in 1981, tower cranes and all. I'll start with this photo of the tower just after it was finished in July 1983:

img171703218GRPLAZA3.JPG

I have to wait until tomorrow to post the construction photos, so stay tuned...

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0042A4A035F811DABB773868180B1119.jpg

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I don't know which is more fascinating: what is in the pictures? What are in the pictures that are no longer there? or what are NOT in the pictures that are there now?

Simply incredible!

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Fantastic images GRDad!

Was the glass on the tower formerly more reflective? Or does the image quality just make it appear that way?

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Fantastic images GRDad!

Was the glass on the tower formerly more reflective? Or does the image quality just make it appear that way?

It may be the image. The first one is from Erhardt's website, the others are not. Keep looking for other interesting details in the photos (and not on the tower itself). I'll check back in tomorrow.

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Very cool, Jeff! And look at all that parking! :P Do you have any images of the "old" plaza towers, before it was re-skinned? Those would be cool to see as well.

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No, I don't have those yet, but I am looking to acquire a set if anyone knows where....

Anyway details:

1st picture: Check out the ugly skin that used to be on the Aldrich Building (whitish/gray building upper right) and you can still see the squat Union Bank Bldg where UICA was until a couple of years ago.

What is the small building right at the SE corner of Lyon and Monroe (middle left of photo, brown with white trim)?

2nd picture: Nice crane!

3rd picture: Look for the bank of buildings where Plaza Towers stands now :huh: No Eberhard Center, no GR Museum, and look at the low wide building at the now GVSU lot across from Padnos. No Charlie's Crab.

4th picture: Look for the 6 - 7 story building where Huntington Bank (50 Monroe?) stands now. Is this building still there with the metal skin on it of 50 Monroe? No Campau Plaza Building. No windows on the river side of Forslund Condos. And of course no Israels Bldg anymore.

Anyone else notice anything?

Edit: in the first picture, there is some kind of low rise building standing where the surface lot is now at Lyon and Ottawa (upper left of photo near the Art Museum).

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The more I look at them, the more things I notice. I see the Weather Ball standing tall on Mich Natl. And of course, the arena is not there. When I first moved here, I couldn't believe that people would actually paint BRICK on the sides of buildings, but then when I see some of the old worn brick surfaces (like the Waters Building), I can see why they would.

I thought that I had heard that 50 Monroe had been re-skinned. I wonder if we will ever see the old brick again? The current exterior is in rough shape for not being that old.

College Park (aka microfiche). I'll have to check that out when I am in the Centerpointe area again. It must be on the lake?

Hey, I just noticed that there is a street where Plaza Towers sits now that extends Campau out to Fulton Street. Any idea what those businesses were along there?

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College Park (aka microfiche). I'll have to check that out when I am in the Centerpointe area again. It must be on the lake?

Hey, I just noticed that there is a street where Plaza Towers sits now that extends Campau out to Fulton Street. Any idea what those businesses were along there?

The credit union out on Sparks is near the SE corner of Sparks and Lake Eastbrook.

The old Greyhound Station was down in that area where Plaza Towers now stands. An art deco type building from what I recall. I think I was in there once. Where the Amway tower now stands I think there used to be a large hardware/paint store? Maybe some of the even older folks can remember more (no disrespect intended) :)

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The credit union out on Sparks is near the SE corner of Sparks and Lake Eastbrook.

The old Greyhound Station was down in that area where Plaza Towers now stands. An art deco type building from what I recall. I think I was in there once. Where the Amway tower now stands I think there used to be a large hardware/paint store? Maybe some of the even older folks can remember more (no disrespect intended) :)

Where's LADave when we need him :P I'm sure he'll stop by today to give us some more scoop.

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When I first moved here, I couldn't believe that people would actually paint BRICK on the sides of buildings, but then when I see some of the old worn brick surfaces (like the Waters Building), I can see why they would.

This is actually a very common thing with older buildings. Some brick actually had to be painted because it was a lower quality brick and wouldn't hold up to the weather. Higher quality bricks were generally fired in the kiln longer.

One very common mistake that people do during historic preservation projects is strip paint from brick walls that historically has always been painted. Moisture problems occur instantly. Pretty soon after a couple of freeze thaw cycles the brick begins to spall and you have a nasty mess on your hands.

Nitro

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Where the Amway tower now stands I think there used to be a large hardware/paint store? Maybe some of the even older folks can remember more (no disrespect intended) :)

I'm not sure what the five story red-brick building was called, but here's a view from the 1930s:

54_1.JPG

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That's a great postcard! I was just in the Amway Grand this morning (getting Marriott update photos), and the transition area from the Tower area to the Fine Arts Exhibition Building is awesome! It really highlights the ornate work on the side of the old building and the way the lettering from the old building jumps out at you is fantastic! I also never noticed the small fountains in the glass atriums before either (I don't get in there very often).

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Great Postcard! Check out the canal!

Doh! Totally missed it! Was that for energy production for the furniture factories on the West bank?

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Yes, and for the Voigt Mill that would be just to the right over the bridge where the current Van Andel Musuem center is now. Part of the Mill's wall is still intact near the rivers edge by the bridge.

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In regards to what was on the Amway site before the Amway, I know there was a carpet store, VanderSys. My grandpa owned it and loves to tell the story of how Amway tried to buy it and he wouldn't talk to anyone but DeVos. (He wanted to go right to the big man, not the "underlings") He tells about how Rich DeVos came down there and negotiated with him and called him a stubborn Dutchman. The store later moved to where Brian's Books is now and I think my grandpa got a pretty good price for the land. :D

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Very cool, Jeff! And look at all that parking! :P Do you have any images of the "old" plaza towers, before it was re-skinned? Those would be cool to see as well.

Hey andy! I did find this photo of the Eastbank Riverfront Towers when they were under construction (only thing I could find). The reddish colored panels were much darker than I remember:

PlazaTowers.jpg

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Hey andy! I did find this photo of the Eastbank Riverfront Towers when they were under construction (only thing I could find). The reddish colored panels were much darker than I remember:

Sweet, nice job jeff! That building was kinda ugly at first with those red panels. Granted, it wouldn't look as dirty as it does now :P. I know they have a whole boatload of pictures at city hall. Maybe I can get them to loan me a few to scan. :whistling:

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OK, children, I am here.

Great pictures of the Amway. I have to confess that I was in law school while it was being built, and so had already begun the transition of leaving GR for points west.

The location where the Amway is now was, I recall, some pretty undistinguished small retail buildings. However, I think that prior to that it was the location of the GR Press before it built its interesting (and shamefully dstroyed) 1900 reinforced concrete building over at Sheldon and Fulton.

And, there was an old Sears tire store across the street (where Israel's was, I think). I remember my Dad getting the 1951 Plymouth reshod.

Geez, I am getting old.

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That's a great postcard! I was just in the Amway Grand this morning (getting Marriott update photos), and the transition area from the Tower area to the Fine Arts Exhibition Building is awesome! It really highlights the ornate work on the side of the old building and the way the lettering from the old building jumps out at you is fantastic! I also never noticed the small fountains in the glass atriums before either (I don't get in there very often).

upstairs in the finearts building there are several pictures of hotel construction on the walls. Its pretty interesting

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