6th Gen local

Grand Rapids Then and Now

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7 minutes ago, mpchicago said:

DTS Winkelmann, designed an addition to the building about 10 years ago, before the recession put the lid on the plan. 

https://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/topic/115455-former-ja-building-renovation/

109020025_1c7f79bd5a_b.jpg

I would much rather have the clean, artdeco style look of the original.  It even more interesting when you see what was next to it.

gr_davenport_before_construction_1948.jp

 

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Its hard to tell from the rendering, but they were actually following the same exact lines, and window layout of the original building, and I think were going to reuse the old stone roof cornice on top of the addition. I liked the contrast in brick color from the original two floors to the new red brick for the addition.  

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6 hours ago, mpchicago said:

Its hard to tell from the rendering, but they were actually following the same exact lines, and window layout of the original building, and I think were going to reuse the old stone roof cornice on top of the addition. I liked the contrast in brick color from the original two floors to the new red brick for the addition.  

I also remember them deciding to go with red brick as they couldn't get a proper match to the original brick.

Joe

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14 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

I also remember them deciding to go with red brick as they couldn't get a proper match to the original brick.

Joe

I also think that red brick is cheaper.

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4 minutes ago, BLUESCRUBS said:

This was on reddit this AM. Thinking this is from 1987 or so. Amazing to see the transformation of downtown GR!!!

GR mid 80s.jpg

That' a pretty good guess.  Looks like they are doing site prep work for plaza towers which started construction in September 1988.  Its amazing how tall 12-stories looks in this photo (99 Monroe).  Also cool to see the RR tracks on the not-so-blue bridge.

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8 hours ago, discgrab21 said:

That' a pretty good guess.  Looks like they are doing site prep work for plaza towers which started construction in September 1988.  Its amazing how tall 12-stories looks in this photo (99 Monroe).  Also cool to see the RR tracks on the not-so-blue bridge.

Was that a greyhound bus facility where Plaza Towers is now? Looks like 2 buses parked there. 

What a difference! 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

Was that a greyhound bus facility where Plaza Towers is now? Looks like 2 buses parked there. 

What a difference! 

This one maybe?

IMG_20181017_193612-5952x3348.jpg

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How cool would it be if they had it go from in the museum to the outside, crest around the carousel and over the river back into the museum on the other side! 500ft of track come on guys let's make this happen. Historic, unique and and fun. 

image.png

Edited by HavingAhoot
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I have vague memories of riding it as a kid (in the City Center days). Cool to see it restored, and I agree that seeing it in operation would be awesome.

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As someone who rode it back in the 70’s at Herp’s, I remember it being quite small and cramped. Don’t think anyone over the age of 12 would be able to fit in it. 

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14 minutes ago, Prankster said:

As someone who rode it back in the 70’s at Herp’s, I remember it being quite small and cramped. Don’t think anyone over the age of 12 would be able to fit in it. 

As someone who rode it back in the 80's at City Center I remember it being super cramped and a little sketchy but hella fun. 

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10 hours ago, BLUESCRUBS said:

The Herpolsheimer's train has been restored. Never had the chance to see it back in the day. Going to have to take a visit to the museum.

 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2018/11/herpolsheimers_iconic_monorail.html

923_mt181116_train_043.jpeg

My preschool class was one of the last group of kids to ride the train when it was still in (pre City Center) Herpolsheimer's back in, I think, 1982 or 83. I remember being terrified of the thing. It did feel like it was a tiny cage suspended a hundred feet in the air. After we went there, we walked down to the then " new" Amway Grand Plaza to see the gingerbread houses, and took a ride in elevator with the view of the outside....which terrified me even more.

I must have been a real pain that day.

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Seeing pictures of it refurbished it looks way smaller than I expected. And they've made it into a Polar Express theme (not sure if the face was lost at some point).

46311962_10215949167018654_3458949648385

12 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

My preschool class was one of the last group of kids to ride the train when it was still in (pre City Center) Herpolsheimer's back in, I think, 1982 or 83. I remember being terrified of the thing. It did feel like it was a tiny cage suspended a hundred feet in the air. After we went there, we walked down to the then " new" Amway Grand Plaza to see the gingerbread houses, and took a ride in elevator with the view of the outside....which terrified me even more.

I must have been a real pain that day.

The kids in the train don't really look like they're having fun. They all look a bit... nervous. :)

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2018/11/herpolsheimers_iconic_monorail.html

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7 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Seeing pictures of it refurbished it looks way smaller than I expected. And they've made it into a Polar Express theme (not sure if the face was lost at some point).

46311962_10215949167018654_3458949648385

The kids in the train don't really look like they're having fun. They all look a bit... nervous. :)

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2018/11/herpolsheimers_iconic_monorail.html

That’s actually the original look). I guess they added the face at some point. It was also had an atomic theme, and a jungle themed train (in the Mackies World days). Cool that they restored it to the original look. 

Joe

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image.thumb.png.64f518f3a1e032e6d9da9ac2653bdc8b.png

 

Saw this on reddit and thought some might find it interesting.  There are some pretty interesting comments on how the highway split the neighborhoods in the thread:  

 

image.png

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Crazy how much the mowed down. There’s a building on Monroe (north of 196) that I’ve never seen before. Did it make it through highway construction only to get torn down later?

Joe

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Interesting that they did the land bridges in the river like they're doing now. 

That one member on there saying or inferring that the highway drove people out of downtown? That's some revisionist history right there. As much as some on here hate the highways and Vandenberg Plaza, they saved the city. Most of us have never seen a vast economic and population exodus like city leaders saw back then prior to these projects. Imagine what it must have done to the city's finances and ability to provide services? Downward death spiral.

We've all only seen growth. Most of us on here anyway. Maybe not Walker or Morris. :)

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On 12/5/2018 at 7:42 AM, GRDadof3 said:

Interesting that they did the land bridges in the river like they're doing now. 

That one member on there saying or inferring that the highway drove people out of downtown? That's some revisionist history right there. As much as some on here hate the highways and Vandenberg Plaza, they saved the city. Most of us have never seen a vast economic and population exodus like city leaders saw back then prior to these projects. Imagine what it must have done to the city's finances and ability to provide services? Downward death spiral.

We've all only seen growth. Most of us on here anyway. Maybe not Walker or Morris. :)

Agreed.  In the 1960s the city almost doubled in land area by annexing suburban swaths  out toward 44th st.  That annexation hid the true exodus out of Grand Rapids core in during the late 60s.  It also diluted the losses seen during the 70s.  It would be very interesting to see the true decline in that original 24sq mi area that made up the core.

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