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Grand Rapids Then and Now


6th Gen local

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I heard that originally there was 2 buildings, both across the street from eachother. One of them catered to special needs students.. which is the one that collapsed. I also remember hearing something about a tunnel that connected the two buildings to eachother. It apparently collapsed a very long time ago. I don't think the whole building collapsed, but at least the roof did. A coworker of mine was telling me this, which he had heard from his grandfather, who also recounted when Clay was a dirt road and how he used to go hunting where 54th St. Meijer now stands.

The "tunnel" probably was a pedestrian underpass built by the DOT. There was one at 32nd Street where Godwin Heights HS was on the east side of Divison. There was one on Leonard west of Covell for Covell School. Divison was US 131 - main drag GR to Kazoo, Leonard US 16, main drag GR to Muskegon. I'm sure there were others, I just can't recall where right now off the top of my head :)

Edited by Raildudes dad
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I was digging through my photos from 1995 today and thought I'd share a few. Does anyone else have some good "pre-boom" pictures?

If I'm not mistaken, this was the Phoenix Furniture Company's downtown factory. I think there were a lot of people who wanted this building saved. It is now part of GVSU downtown (is it where the parking ramp now stands?).

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Enjoy. I will try to post more soon.

Joe

This is another A&P warehouse (note the reinforced concrete post & frame construction). It had 2 rail sidings on both sides PRR on the west & C&O / Chessie on the east. The Phoenix building was east of the tracks "behind" the building being demoed where the GVSU library is. It was between Summer & Winter Streets (Winter is gone today). It was 5 or 6 stories all wood frame construction (brother-in-law worked there when he first started with Stow & Davis (owned by Steelcase) 23 years ago).

Edited by Raildudes dad
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  • 3 weeks later...

Some really cool stuff in these photosets:

Grand Rapids

Camera Art Club

Mom's World

Not necessarily building related, but a cool glimpse into GR history a lot of the time... Worth a look.

Thanks for the links. These were fantastic. I spent hours last night looking at these and the commentaries when I should have been sleeping. The GR pictures are great but better still were the personal stories that go with them.

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Some really cool stuff in these photosets:

Grand Rapids

Camera Art Club

Mom's World

Not necessarily building related, but a cool glimpse into GR history a lot of the time... Worth a look.

Wow, great find! I love the comment under a picture of a young Dutch kid getting his hair cut, and the remark that folks would wash their cars on Saturday and not touch them again until Monday. When I was a kid, my non-Dutch father would always make us do all the yard work on Saturday so that the Dutch neighbors would not be offended by the sound of a lawn mower on the Sabbath. At the same time, the practice of holding two Sunday evening church services in Christian Reformed and Reformed churches was a real benefit -- by about 4:30 p.m., we had the beach to ourselves.

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  • 2 months later...

How true, how true. I have memories of the aluminum siding frontages on buildings on Monroe Avenue, placed there to "modernize" those great 1880s buildings. But, this was an era when suburban shopping malls like Rogers Plaza were beginning to challenge downtown's supremacy as a shopping center. By 1970, the battle had been lost and downtown began to reclaim its look.

Newsweek 1967

520891712_5e7a5831ee_o.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Can anyone give me more info on this circled area?

Is it a old cemetary?

http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/5379/19...2e5b0f8ogd5.jpg

Thank you for the bump also.

It's very hard to read, but those are the names of the adjacent streets: Kellogg at the top and Cherry at the bottom. This area contains what is now former Mayor Logies house, among other residences.

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Can anyone give me more info on this circled area?

Is it a old cemetary?

http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/5379/19...2e5b0f8ogd5.jpg

Thank you for the bump also.

Were the racial divisions added when the map was made, or did someone go in and write them on the map?

While I understand it's an old map, having those distinctions on there is really awkward now.

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http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/post-a17...934-37.jpg.html

In this shot (from pg 1), I like that Monroe Center goes through to Fulton/Sheldon. Was that changed when they did the mall?

Wow!! The urban renewal sure did a number on DT. All those surface parking lots. At least some of the density has come back through the years since that photo was taken though we still have a long ways to go before DT gets back to pre urban renewal densities if ever.

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Were the racial divisions added when the map was made, or did someone go in and write them on the map?

While I understand it's an old map, having those distinctions on there is really awkward now.

Don't read anything racial into the ethnic names on the map. Back in that era, the ethnic groups tended to live in the same neighborhoods and there was a lot of ethnic languages spoken in those neighborhoods due to the large number of immigrants (my grandparents and their siblings included).

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