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History of the Harris on S Division?


Allison Slater

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Just wondering if anybody knows any history of the old building on the west side of S. Division in the Avenue of the Arts area with the old rusted-out vertical sign reading "Harris". I was told at the avenue for the arts market that there's a ballroom on the second floor, so I'm guessing it was either some kind of evening entertainment building or a hotel? Anybody got pictures of what it looked like back in the day, or have any other info on it?

For some reason that building really appeals to me, even though it doesn't appear to be too special.

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Just wondering if anybody knows any history of the old building on the west side of S. Division in the Avenue of the Arts area with the old rusted-out vertical sign reading "Harris". I was told at the avenue for the arts market that there's a ballroom on the second floor, so I'm guessing it was either some kind of evening entertainment building or a hotel? Anybody got pictures of what it looked like back in the day, or have any other info on it?

For some reason that building really appeals to me, even though it doesn't appear to be too special.

That one appeals to me, too, ts. Haven't been inside, but that's not for lack of trying.

Heard the ballroom space is wonderful. Heard a whisper awhile back about the

building being purchased for use as an American Indian art school with live/work

spaces and classrooms. Don't know if that is still moving forward - I'm sure someone

here on the forum has info.

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What I heard at avenue for the arts market was that dwelling place was looking into buying it, but that it may be a while before anything happens with it.

I doubt it. Dwelling Place has passed on Harris several times. Being a landlocked building makes for a tough rehab into housing.

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There is another thread that contains the story to which Joe is referring: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...amp;mode=linear

A quick aside: Remember the old days when people used to post copyrighted articles in their entirety around here?

I do not know the writer/researcher of this article. At the time it was published, I had not even heard of Spazio Development, and I have not heard much about them since.

There was a big article in Grand Rapids Magazine about the Harris about 8 months ago. Did those plans for renovation fall through?

Joe

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ooooo the ballroom is DOMED even. That must look really cool. I think I'm gonna see if I can DJ in there while it's still vacant maybe. Although power would be an issue.. I know there's at least some access into the building, avenue for the arts market was using the space for some window advertising. I'll see if I can contact Jenn about it, see if something can be pulled together.

If anybody refurbishes the place, they better preserve that ballroom well. O_O

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It makes me hungry to go eat at Berghoff's in Chicago but......... :cry: they closed earlier this year.

I heard the Berghoff cafe (downstairs from the restuarant) has re-opened. We went there just after Christmas this past year. My kids love their macaroni and cheese and keep asking to go back. :)

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After checking out the aharris today, it's a lot bigger than it looks from the front. There's an ashpalt courtyard/parking area behind that row of buildings, and the Harris cuts straight through it to the back of the buildings on the other side of the block. I took a picture of the back area and caught a glimpse of what I think might be the dome, but I'll have to find higher ground to really see. There was some graffitti near the very top of the back of the harris, so if a graffitti artist can get up there, maybe I can too loaded with a camera =D (And hope I don't get caught!)

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I heard the Berghoff cafe (downstairs from the restuarant) has re-opened. We went there just after Christmas this past year. My kids love their macaroni and cheese and keep asking to go back. :)

Berghoff memories

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Audio slideshow

Photo gallery

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The Berghoff now

The Berghoff then

Video

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http://www.berghoff.com/Berghoff/home.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationw...1,3494042.story

"Under the family's plan, Artistic Events by Carlyn Berghoff Catering Inc. will take over the building this winter. She will rename the bar 17 West at The Berghoff and reopen the adjoining cafe but reserve the dining room--cloaked in rich oak and graced with pictures of old Chicago--for private, catered events."

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I was enjoying the nostalgia, and then you guys have to bring up the Berghoff. Sigh . . .

Fortunately, when my son and I visited Chicago in the spring of 2005, I was able to take him and a friend to the Berghoff for one last wonderful meal. And yes, a glass of their dark beer.

Regarding South Division -- that picture was probably taken in 1933 or 1934. Prohibition ended in '33, and the streetcars (not cable cars) were gone by '35. GR was one of the first cities to entirely replace its streetcars with buses.

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