6th Gen local

Grand Rapids Then and Now

393 posts in this topic

I think the height is off, but Wendy's had a location on Monroe Center in the 90's. the building was 5-7 stories tall and very narrow. There were four(?) buildings in this block and none if them seemed to use more than the first floor. The other three spots included the Hong Kong inn, a printing company and the UICA. And a monstrous surface parking lot. The area is definitely better off (though I wish the UICA facade would have stayed downtown). :) Joe

I think you might be thinking of the "tower" portion of Wurzburg's department store (originally Herpolsheimer's)   http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com/2010/11/f-w-wurzburg-co-grand-rapids-michigan.html (the first building on this page)   That was demolished in 1973, not the 1990s, but there was never anything else that tall on the Art Museum block.
I think you might be thinking of the "tower" portion of Wurzburg's department store (originally Herpolsheimer's)   http://departmentstoremuseum.blogspot.com/2010/11/f-w-wurzburg-co-grand-rapids-michigan.html (the first building on this page)   That was demolished in 1973, not the 1990s, but there was never anything else that tall on the Art Museum block.

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I think the height is off, but Wendy's had a location on Monroe Center in the 90's. the building was 5-7 stories tall and very narrow. There were four(?) buildings in this block and none if them seemed to use more than the first floor. The other three spots included the Hong Kong inn, a printing company and the UICA. And a monstrous surface parking lot. The area is definitely better off (though I wish the UICA facade would have stayed downtown). :) Joe

could be, any pics of that? i cant find any on a google search

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GRAM site in the 90's

 

11624812-large.jpg

photo found on Mlive

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Nice find. You can see the Subway (was Wendy's before that) and the odd narrow shaped structure at the backside of the building. This is the part that looked to be 5-7 stories tall. 

 

Joe

 

GRAM site in the 90's

 

11624812-large.jpg

photo found on Mlive

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Considering the discussion here, found this to be a timely MLive article:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/12/see_more_than_100_historical_p.html#incart_river_default

 

Just want to draw attention to this one from the MLive gallery:

 

262731_10100385950503915_2047269383_n.jp

 

(Circle added)

 

 

It's surprising that tiny triangle on Ionia/Louis used to fit a pretty sizable building.  Well it's a good thing we traded it for an extra 40 parking spaces! :whistling:

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The odd thing about that building is that they actually converted it into a parking structure (and at some point tore it down). The Hinman Company owns that lot and has floated around plans for a pretty tall building on that lot. But I think a major tenant would have to approach them to make that happen.

 

Joe

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The odd thing about that building is that they actually converted it into a parking structure (and at some point tore it down). The Hinman Company owns that lot and has floated around plans for a pretty tall building on that lot. But I think a major tenant would have to approach them to make that happen.

 

Joe

I would love to see an 8 story + building on that lot.

 

Heres a video of yester year

 

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Nice find. You can see the Subway (was Wendy's before that) and the odd narrow shaped structure at the backside of the building. This is the part that looked to be 5-7 stories tall. 

 

Joe

 

Thats it, I was thinking it was taller, maybe from the back? 

Considering the discussion here, found this to be a timely MLive article:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/12/see_more_than_100_historical_p.html#incart_river_default

 

Just want to draw attention to this one from the MLive gallery:

 

 

 

It's surprising that tiny triangle on Ionia/Louis used to fit a pretty sizable building.  Well it's a good thing we traded it for an extra 40 parking spaces! :whistling:

would love to seething similar rebuilt on that site, its a shame thats not still there

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It's great to look at these images and see how many buildings have been restored. A lot of the building on Monroe Center were completely covered in metal, covering the stories above street level. Madness!

 

Joe

 

Photo gallery. There's even a shot of the (presumably failed) information booth.

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Photo gallery. There's even a shot of the (presumably failed) information booth.

 

It was a pay phone kiosk -in the olden days before cell phones :lol:

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It was also the top of the building that preceded McKay tower. Pretty cool. Wonder where it ended up?

 

Joe

 

 

It was a pay phone kiosk -in the olden days before cell phones :lol:

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Sorry if this opens old wounds, but if you scroll down there is a proposal for 206 Ionia that iv never seen???

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Sorry if this opens old wounds, but if you scroll down there is a proposal for 206 Ionia that iv never seen???

Did you mean the one labled 204 Ionia?  That rendering is actually 240 Ionia.  We have a thread here about it. http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/19010-240-ionia-new-development

 

That lot is now proposed as a third apartment building by Brookstone Capital (Karl Chew).  I doubt that the new apartment building will end up looking like 240 Ionia.  Though I think it would be nice if it did.

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Oh. All makes more sense now. Thank you for the link. I thought those 3 buildings already broke ground?

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Oh. All makes more sense now. Thank you for the link. I thought those 3 buildings already broke ground?

 

Nope. 2 of the 3 have broken ground (the ones near Pekich Park/Cherry & Division). Nothing has been released on 240 Ionia...yet.

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didnt feel like starting a new topic. Big move into bridgewater place

 

edit: after i made this post, a new thread was started on it. sorry

Edited by SupercityGR

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didnt feel like starting a new topic. Big move into bridgewater place

 

edit: after i made this post, a new thread was started on it. sorry

 

I think this will be the first company to move into those floors since DTE moved Michcon out of there in 2000.  I have checked periodically over the years and they have always been vacant on McKinley's website.

Edited by andrew.w

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The space into which Spectrum is moving has been vacant for the past five years after DT Energy moved out of downtown to Kentwood, Wiener said. The 17-story building at 333 Bridge Street NW is now 70 percent leased, he said.

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Interesting- I walked by Olive's the other day and wondered what the facade used to look like. At some point somebody put nasty faux rock on that building. Olive's has done an ok job making it look respectable, but it doesn't look nearly as nice as this picture. 

 

Joe

 

Then:

http://www.historygrandrapids.org/photo/1219/womens-welsh-for-governor-club

 

What a great old facade Olive's used to have.  And you could rent bikes for $0.25/hr!  Fun!!

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Interesting- I walked by Olive's the other day and wondered what the facade used to look like. At some point somebody put nasty faux rock on that building. Olive's has done an ok job making it look respectable, but it doesn't look nearly as nice as this picture. 

 

Joe

 

Apparently sometime between fotoman’s 1936 photo and this 1949 photo the faux rock façade was added:

 

http://grpl.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15416coll4/id/300/rv/singleitem/rec/349

 

The business to the left in the link, Buth’s Dairy Bar, later moved around the corner and morphed into Jersey Junction. I can remember sitting with my grandmother in Buth’s having a chocolate malted probably only a couple of years after this picture was taken. You could look across the street through the window and see the roller coaster at Ramona Park, although the roller coaster was no longer operating by then.

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3,000,000 feet of exhibit space would make GR one of the biggest in the country.  I wonder how much there is now. 

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