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michaelskis

Architectural History in Grand Rapids

93 posts in this topic


The Michigan Trust Building was designed by Chicago architect Solon Beman. I also believe the Exhibitors Building/Fine Arts Building on Lyon (by the Amway Grand) was also designed by a renowned architect, but I couldn't find a link online.

Van Andel Institute was designed by Rafael Vinoly.

The JW Marriott was designed by Lohan Caprille Goetsch, now Goettsch Partners.

There are a couple of other notable designs, which probably include the Ryerson Library, St Cecelia Music Society, and the building housing the United Way on Commerce. I remember these were discussed here about a year ago.

Does good architecture have to come from an international egotist, or are there talented architects locally?

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Beman also designed the Christian Science church on Lafayette. I'm sure there are some homes in Heritage Hill and in EGR designed by well known architects as well.

Too bad that none of the buildings we have that were designed by famous architects would be listed among those architects' best works.

Edited by destijl

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Grand Rapids seems to have a generous stock of nice 19th and 20th century architecture. It doesn

Edited by mpchicago

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Smith, Hinchman and Grylls (now SmithGroup) were the architects for the old Michigan National Bank Buildng (at Monroe Center & Ionia).

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The Michigan Trust Building was designed by Chicago architect Solon Beman. I also believe the Exhibitors Building/Fine Arts Building on Lyon (by the Amway Grand) was also designed by a renowned architect, but I couldn't find a link online.

Now this is what I was looking for. That is a great building.

The others that you mentioned, I am just not that impress with them. In my personal opinion, too many architects today think in simplistic terms of a steel building with a glass exterior, or a mix material (almost never brick) in massively obscure geometric patterns. I guess ever since WWII, we have been in a simple material cubist period.

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Yet in Grand Rapids seems to be lacking in Architectural Nobility.

The building isn't old enough to be historic, and the architects aren't famous beyond West Michigan, but one of the best designs in the area is the downtown GVSU campus by Vern Ohlman (with help from Tom Roode and Brian Barkwell). 50 years from now it will still be listed among the best.

218459049_59cf4239ef_b.jpg

Edited by civitas

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Temple Emanuel on Fulton St. across from Aquinas was done by by Eric Mendelsohn.

http://www.templeemanuelgr.org/index.html

Mendelsohn is generally a part of any architectural history course.

He's probably best know for his 'Einstien Tower'

http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Einstein_Tower.html

As for people who are currently famous, there is Rafael Vi

Edited by Occam

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Gunnar Birkerts designed the Church of the Servant in Kentwood.

Harry Weese designed the original convention center.

Paul Freidberg designed the Monroe pedestrian mall.

Frederick Law Olmsted & Assoc. did the site planning at the Blodgett estate (after Olmstead had died).

Edited by civitas

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Well, I can say that Heartside has one of the nations largest collection of remaining... I don't remember the time peroid or in what style the warehouses were built. Someone help me here. I think so were of notable local architects.

Edited by Rizzo

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We have a lot of good examples of architecture from many different periods of time. The influence of Robinson and Campau on the downtown area is huge.

What is also interesting is some of the pocket pieces of architecture done by famous architects around town. Near Skyvale in Ada is a house done by Dirk Lohan. We also have a Gunnar Birkerts house on Lake Dr. Somewhere in the area is a house done by Richard Neutra. I'd really like to see that one sometime.

The Grand Valley AIA is producing a brochure called the Grand Valley Guide to Architecture highlighting many of our great works of architecture in Grand Rapids, Holland, and Muskegon. The first draft is due in a matter of days.

A certain member of this forum is in charge of that project. If he's reading this, I hope they are getting close to getting it out!!! :whistling:

Smith, Hinchman and Grylls (now SmithGroup) were the architects for the old Michigan National Bank Buildng (at Monroe Center & Ionia).

SHG did the AT&T building downtown as well.

Edited by Nitro

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The building isn't old enough to be historic, and the architects aren't famous beyond West Michigan, but one of the best designs in the area is the downtown GVSU campus by Vern Ohlman (with help from Tom Roode and Brian Barkwell). 50 years from now it will still be listed among the best.

Now this is much better than some of the other recent new construction that I have noticed. You will notice the detail above the arch way and widows, mixed materials including brick, small molding (almost like a chair molding)

Edited by michaelskis

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Now this is much better than some of the other recent new construction that I have noticed. You will notice the detail above the arch way and widows, mixed materials including brick, small molding (almost like a chair molding)

For my taste it's a bit too Post Modern'ish. The slight exageration of the classical details borders a bit too close to Post Mod for me.

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For my taste it's a bit too Post Modern'ish. The slight exageration of the classical details borders a bit too close to Post Mod for me.

Is it perfect no, but given some of the other construction projects, at least you know it

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The building isn't old enough to be historic, and the architects aren't famous beyond West Michigan, but one of the best designs in the area is the downtown GVSU campus by Vern Ohlman (with help from Tom Roode and Brian Barkwell). 50 years from now it will still be listed among the best.

In addition, I thought I read that the design of the Business School was based on Thomas Jefferson's plan for the University of Virginia?

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What is also interesting is some of the pocket pieces of architecture done by famous architects around town. Near Skyvale in Ada is a house done by Dirk Lohan. We also have a Gunnar Birkerts house on Lake Dr. Somewhere in the area is a house done by Richard Neutra. I'd really like to see that one sometime.

The Grand Valley AIA is producing a brochure called the Grand Valley Guide to Architecture highlighting many of our great works of architecture in Grand Rapids, Holland, and Muskegon. The first draft is due in a matter of days.

A certain member of this forum is in charge of that project. If he's reading this, I hope they are getting close to getting it out!!! :whistling:

The Lohan pad is on Conservation off Pettis - you used to be able to walk right up and touch it. The most recent owners have gated the drive and planted walls of landscaping - it's tough to find and see now. It's a rocking, white cube, high mod good.

The Gunnar house on Lake is right across from Wealthy school's practice field. It's one of his best.

The Neutra house is on the back side of Reeds lake at the end of Manhattan for all to see. It's got everything you want in a Neutra. The current owners have been painstakinly working on it.

Yes, my fearless leader a matter of days. Yes, days.

Edited by Ted

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The Lohan pad is on Conservation off Pettis - you used to be able to walk right up and touch it. The most recent owners have gated the drive and planted walls of landscaping - it's tough to find and see now. It's a rocking, white cube, high mod good.

Actually, it's on Dogwood at Conservation. :D

218597116_ff2204fd25_o.jpg

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Actually, it's on Dogwood at Conservation. :D

218597116_ff2204fd25_o.jpg

Good call. Thar she blows!

At certain vantage points on the site, it's almost the perfect white cube on the perfect flat plane of green grass. Nothing but fun.

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Good call. Thar she blows!

At certain vantage points on the site, it's almost the perfect white cube on the perfect flat plane of green grass. Nothing but fun.

What the....

ummm yea. I am sure that the people who own it, enjoy it.

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Good call. Thar she blows!

At certain vantage points on the site, it's almost the perfect white cube on the perfect flat plane of green grass. Nothing but fun.

Didn't Lohan study under Mies Van Der Rohe (or was that before his time)?

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What the....

ummm yea. I am sure that the people who own it, enjoy it.

I would think they do...

Didn't Lohan study under Mies Van Der Rohe (or was that before his time)?

Dirk is Mies' grandson. While I'm not sure of his schooling, certainly there's something in the blood.

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I would think they do...

Dirk is Mies' grandson. While I'm not sure of his schooling, certainly there's something in the blood.

Wow! I knew there was a connection somewhere.

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Good call. Thar she blows!

At certain vantage points on the site, it's almost the perfect white cube on the perfect flat plane of green grass. Nothing but fun.

Except for what appears to be silly pruned yews trying to hide a transformer and/or telephone pedestal.

Sometimes the hider is worse than the hidee.

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