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GRDadof3

Did You Know?

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With all the collective intelligence and history buffs here, I thought that this would be a fun thread.

Did you know:

Roger B. Chaffee Drive on the Kentwood/Wyoming border used to be the location for the old Grand Rapids airport, which is why the road is so level and straight (but angles slightly to the Southeast). From what I have heard, when large planes used to land or take off, there were crossing gates (like railroad crossing gates) at 44th Street to keep traffic out of the flight path. ;)

http://www.grr.org/About/historicaltimeline.html

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Did you know?

That one of the potential sites for the International airport was supposed to be in Coopersville, but at the last minute they decided on Kentwood/ The site was already flattened and ready but when the change was made they decided to turn the land into what is now the Landfill.

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Did you know?

That the young Spencer Tracy was a resident of Oakwood Manor for awhile in 1928 or thereabouts? He was touring with the old Keith Theatre circuit at that time.

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Did you know?

That one of the potential sites for the International airport was supposed to be in Coopersville, but at the last minute they decided on Kentwood/ The site was already flattened and ready but when the change was made they decided to turn the land into what is now the Landfill.

My understanding is that the locations of the airport and GVSU were almost switched.

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Grand Rapids had its own "Manhattan" type of land bargain...

When the government first offered public lands for sale along the Grand River, Louis Campau purchased 72 acres. This cost Campau $1.25 an acre, for a total of $90. Campau sold his first two lots for $45 for a tidy profit, and continued to attract more settlers continually

I know the developers here must just be drooling, lol...

http://www.rootsweb.com/~mikent/baxter1891/1836plat.jpg

Note the river in its original condition, with the channels between the islands not yet filled in... The areas Lyon street and north were bought and platted by Lucius Lyon, a rival speculator...

Did you also know that all odd-angled streets radiating from Grand Rapids, such as Monroe, Alpine, Grandville Ave, etc. were originally Indian trails? (I have seen a map of such trails somewhere)

Campau started his street plan by simply right-angling off the most prominent of these Indian trails, Monroe. This was the start of the constant tension between streets planned for the convenience of travelers, as opposed to steets planned conveniently for surveyors, who like straight north-south, east-west configurations.

In Grand Rapids, the busy surveyors have always had the edge, but that is not true in some other great cities, Atlanta being a wonderful example, lol...

:)

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In 1912, many of the street names and addresses were changed in Grand Rapids, making it very difficult to look up the history of any particluar building built before that <_<

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Note the river in its original condition, with the channels between the islands not yet filled in... The areas Lyon street and north were bought and platted by Lucius Lyon, a rival speculator...

Did you also know that all odd-angled streets radiating from Grand Rapids, such as Monroe, Alpine, Grandville Ave, etc. were originally Indian trails? (I have seen a map of such trails somewhere)

Campau started his street plan by simply right-angling off the most prominent of these Indian trails, Monroe. This was the start of the constant tension between streets planned for the convenience of travelers, as opposed to steets planned conveniently for surveyors, who like straight north-south, east-west configurations.

The odd-angled streets were also due to the ongoing fight between Campau and Lyon. Neither wanted to follow each other's layout. I want to say Lyon had everything north of Monroe and Campau everything south.

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My understanding is that the locations of the airport and GVSU were almost switched.

GVSU was another location as far as I know there were three locations. But Kent County wanted the airport and Ottawa decided it didnt want to fight the issue.

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In 1912, many of the street names and addresses were changed in Grand Rapids, making it very difficult to look up the history of any particluar building built before that <_<

Why would they all of a sudden change all this? It seems like it would just be confusing for everybody, even today. :huh:

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If alpine is an indian trail, what the heck was plainfield? :P

was that intended as the definitive gr airport location pun? :whistling:

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Why would they all of a sudden change all this? It seems like it would just be confusing for everybody, even today. :huh:

Maybe this is when they switched to the grid of addresses with 0,0 at Fulton/Division? As for the Street names, I got nuthin'.

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Maybe this is when they switched to the grid of addresses with 0,0 at Fulton/Division? As for the Street names, I got nuthin'.

I should have asked the nice lady at the Ryerson archives desk WHY they did that. I just said "Oh", and continued my search.

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On the street name changes thing...

Lydens' definitive 1966 history (the earliest GR book I own) has a list of the street name changes on page 657. There are not that many...just 13, but they are all important streets...

Lydens is strangely silent on WHY streets changed names...

1912 is given only as the date addresses (numbers) were aligned with the Division/Fulton grid and the familiar directional quadrants..its possible streets changed names before this time, and very likely they changed names on many different dates (probably 13 different dates, lol)...

There may not be one answer as to why streets changed names, since the 1912 date only has to do with the numbering system...

We have a recent name change as well, a section of either Division or Franklin (I can't remember) to Martin Luther King blvd?--it is an alternate designation for the time being from what I recall reading, though I do not doubt it will become definitive over time...

:)

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