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Hey, what's that?


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4 hours ago, mielsonwheels said:

I just flipped back through 10 pages of topic threads and couldn't find any place to put this, so I'm putting it here.

In a shocking twist, a Grand Rapids building is (potentially) getting TALLER! Not much, but still... 

188 Monroe NW (the building with Bull's Head Tavern) is getting two floors added on, raising it to about the same height as the building next to it. Looks like the additional floors will be metal panel or EIFS siding, but before anybody complains know this, the new floors will also be set back from the original buildings facade on Monroe by about 12-15 feet, so it's not going to be really visible from street level. Not saying I like the look, just that it's going to be somewhat hidden.

image.thumb.png.fa2c01478ba7271d3fbe43c3ea02d9b7.png

That's good to hear. The upper floors of that building have looked a bit tired. I assume with this addition they're going to renovate the entire facade. Adding condos upstairs? 

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11 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Grdad is right, the upper floors of that building look beat up/underused (or vacant?). It’d be great to see those floors (and more) get utilized. 

Joe

This is one of the few subjects I actually have some tiny inside information on. I used to work for the Raideau restaurant/bars for awhile.  Recently they have decided to sell off Bulls Head, Dukes and I hear Gardellas is next. The Brothers are in their late 50 early 60s now.  Anyway above the Bulls head was old apartments before there was a fire in the 1940s.  I have been on the upper floors and roof top and it is like a creepy blast from the past. everything was left after the fire...everything, cribs, jars of food, magazines, perfume. One of the owners had the idea that they would remodel it one day and retire on the upper floors. He said they have some sort of visual height rights or something. meaning they could build up but the neighbors can not. IDK guess the value became too much to consider the remodel. 

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1 hour ago, HavingAhoot said:

This is one of the few subjects I actually have some tiny inside information on. I used to work for the Raideau restaurant/bars for awhile.  Recently they have decided to sell off Bulls Head, Dukes and I hear Gardellas is next. The Brothers are in their late 50 early 60s now.  Anyway above the Bulls head was old apartments before there was a fire in the 1940s.  I have been on the upper floors and roof top and it is like a creepy blast from the past. everything was left after the fire...everything, cribs, jars of food, magazines, perfume. One of the owners had the idea that they would remodel it one day and retire on the upper floors. He said they have some sort of visual height rights or something. meaning they could build up but the neighbors can not. IDK guess the value became too much to consider the remodel. 

I would love to see photos of that time capsule.  I'm guessing that's not in the cards though.

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1 hour ago, ProtoSapien said:

I would love to see photos of that time capsule.  I'm guessing that's not in the cards though.

I'll search my old phone tonight cause I had a few of me sitting on a child's bed with burnt walls behind it, asking for a lifetime of haunting.  Also a few from the rooftop.

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21 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

That's good to hear. The upper floors of that building have looked a bit tired. I assume with this addition they're going to renovate the entire facade. Adding condos upstairs? 

Drawings indicate office use on all the floors.

image.png.b9f06e2e6fe175a30b5a5cdc463b55ac.png

And per this note I would assume the original facade will be getting a facelift. Also, looks like the interior finish is going to be all exposed brick.

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  • 3 weeks later...
11 hours ago, ZAP! said:

Does anyone know the story with this Victorian holdout on Cherry?

Screenshot_2018-12-05-22-20-01.jpg

Yeah, I think Joe is right.  I think we talked about it before but I can’t find anything in a couple of likely old threads.  Here are my thoughts off the top of my head without verifying any of this as factual.  I could be mixing this up with other things, I’m old.  First, that’s on the north side of the street, so the address wouldn’t be 44, it would need to be an odd number.  But I don’t think the house is considered to be on Cherry.  I think it likely had a Sheldon address.  The building it is attached to immediately to the east, the one with the tile roof, was a gas station (but before my time.)  The building attached to that one to the east came much later.  So, the two additions stand in what was originally the house’s front yard, and the newest building stands where the pumps and driveway would have been for the gas station.

 
I think River City Recording Studios used to be in this building until a few years ago when they moved to 1935 Monroe Ave NW just south of Riverside Park in what was the old Boy Scouts Headquarters.  Never went there but I think sometime in the late sixties for a short time there was a coffeehouse there where young pretentious college students would wear black, play bongos, read poetry, and talk about existentialism.


Depending on how interested you are, this would be a good one to research in the Polk directories at the library. 
 

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7 hours ago, walker said:

Yeah, I think Joe is right.  I think we talked about it before but I can’t find anything in a couple of likely old threads.  Here are my thoughts off the top of my head without verifying any of this as factual.  I could be mixing this up with other things, I’m old.  First, that’s on the north side of the street, so the address wouldn’t be 44, it would need to be an odd number.  But I don’t think the house is considered to be on Cherry.  I think it likely had a Sheldon address.  The building it is attached to immediately to the east, the one with the tile roof, was a gas station (but before my time.)  The building attached to that one to the east came much later.  So, the two additions stand in what was originally the house’s front yard, and the newest building stands where the pumps and driveway would have been for the gas station.

 
I think River City Recording Studios used to be in this building until a few years ago when they moved to 1935 Monroe Ave NW just south of Riverside Park in what was the old Boy Scouts Headquarters.  Never went there but I think sometime in the late sixties for a short time there was a coffeehouse there where young pretentious college students would wear black, play bongos, read poetry, and talk about existentialism.


Depending on how interested you are, this would be a good one to research in the Polk directories at the library. 
 

Thanks for the detailed reply. I've been wanting to get a few historical questions answered elsewhere as well, so I might just have to stop by.

I do have a second, unrelated question. Do you know when the Bond Ave/196 underpass was shuttered? Personally, I can't figure why it was even built in the first place with Monroe so close to hand and nothing to connect up with to the south (what with Vandenberg Center being in the way).

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The Bond St underpass was the covered unloading dock for newsprint being delivered to the GR Press by rail. The tracks ran down the west side of Bond St from the north. The forklift put the rolls on a conveyor in the underpass that went under the parking lot into the newsprint storage area in the Press building. I don't think the tracks ever crossed Michigan  although there was an alleyway on the south side of Michigan.

Edited by Raildude's dad
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22 minutes ago, Raildude's dad said:

The Bond St underpass was the covered unloading dock for newsprint being delivered to the GR Press by rail. The tracks ran down the west side of Bond St from the north. The forklift put the rolls on a conveyor in the underpass that went under the parking lot into the newsprint storage area in the Press building. I don't think the tracks ever crossed Michigan  although there was an alleyway on the south side of Michigan.

You just beat me to it, I figured you'd know the answer too.  Here's the response I was about to post:

At one time the GR Press received their newsprint by rail.  The underpass was for the railroad siding.  The siding ran alongside of Bond.  Where Bond ends to the north, the siding actually used to run through the old Berkey-Gay furniture factory.   If you look on Google satellite view you can see the path of the old siding.  There was a platform for unloading boxcars in the underpass.  The newspaper rolls would be unloaded with a forklift and loaded on to a conveyor belt that would take them under the parking lot to the press building.  Don’t know when they closed it off.  When I first worked for the post office fifty years ago, I used to park on Bond or Hastings and walked through the underpass to get to work.  I’ve always wondered if the GR Press paid for that underpass or if it was just a nice perk they got for cheer-leading for urban renewal.

ZAP, if you do look up that house at Cherry and Sheldon, I’d be curious to know how close what you find matches up to what I wrote.  (But if you don’t get around to it, that’s OK too.)     
 

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MDOT paid for the "tunnel". The track was there and Grand Trunk didn't agree to the removal of it. I suspect it made the site attractive to the press. You write more than I do lol

When the Press moved to Walker, they were getting an average of about 7-8 cars  a week. The city wanted the Bond St spur gone and were encouraging the Press to unload the paper elsewhere. An acquaintance of mine had me work with the RR to setup a transload site nearby.  Long story but the paper owner had all the newsprint for GR, Kazoo and Muskegon go thru a place north of Grand Haven on that railroad. Today the newsprint volume is a mere shadow of 15-20 years a go and it is trucked from Quebec.

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On 12/6/2018 at 9:58 AM, walker said:

Yeah, I think Joe is right.  I think we talked about it before but I can’t find anything in a couple of likely old threads.  Here are my thoughts off the top of my head without verifying any of this as factual.  I could be mixing this up with other things, I’m old.  First, that’s on the north side of the street, so the address wouldn’t be 44, it would need to be an odd number.  But I don’t think the house is considered to be on Cherry.  I think it likely had a Sheldon address.  The building it is attached to immediately to the east, the one with the tile roof, was a gas station (but before my time.)  The building attached to that one to the east came much later.  So, the two additions stand in what was originally the house’s front yard, and the newest building stands where the pumps and driveway would have been for the gas station.

 
I think River City Recording Studios used to be in this building until a few years ago when they moved to 1935 Monroe Ave NW just south of Riverside Park in what was the old Boy Scouts Headquarters.  Never went there but I think sometime in the sixties for a short time there was a coffeehouse there where young pretentious college students would wear black, play bongos, read poetry, and talk about existentialism.


Depending on how interested you are, this would be a good one to research in the Polk directories at the library. 
 

OK, I got at least one thing wrong.  I was a couple of blocks off.  River City Recording Studio was at 147 Goodrich at the corner of Jefferson:

147 Goodrich - former River City Studios

In my memory I associate the recording studio with the old coffeehouse location, so maybe the coffeehouse wasn't on Sheldon either.  It makes a good story though.

Wonder what else I might have got wrong (or right.)

I did Google up a spreadsheet  from the state of Michigan that shows gasoline tanks were removed from 139 Sheldon, the probable address of the house and attached old gas station.  So I'm sticking with that.

 

Edited by walker
because whrharris caught my latest mistake. I meant Jefferson not Lafayette.
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39 minutes ago, walker said:

OK, I got at least one thing wrong.  I was a couple of blocks off.  River City Recording Studio was at 147 Goodrich at the corner of Lafayette:

147 Goodrich - former River City Studios

In my memory I associate the recording studio with the old coffeehouse location, so maybe the coffeehouse wasn't on Sheldon either.  It makes a good story though.

Wonder what else I might have got wrong (or right.)

I did Google up a spreadsheet  from the state of Michigan that shows gasoline tanks were removed from 139 Sheldon, the probable address of the house and attached old gas station.  So I'm sticking with that.

 

River City was at the corner of Goodrich and Jefferson.  The building got torn down I believe for the parking lot for the Orthodox church just to the west. I spent many an hour in those studios recording commercials.

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  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Not exactly a “what’s that” and more of a “what the heck?!”  Does anyone know what’s going on with the Geek Group? Raided by Homeland Security?

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2018/12/grand-rapids-tech-group-raided-by-feds.html

Joe

This is what I could find from a previous thread.

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12 hours ago, WMrapids said:

This is what I could find from a previous thread.

The National Science Institute (Geek Group) has nothing to do with Tech Shop.  They actually hated Tech Shop.

The Homeland raid documents are sealed right now and no one is talking, so it might be a while before we get into.

Some media mentioned that the IRS was also onsite.  There are a load of things it could be.

The Geek Group has had tax issues in the past when they were located in Kalamazoo.

They also are a Non-Profit that takes donations of equipment and materials, maybe that is part of it.

They also Dabble in Bitcoin, maybe that has something to do with it.

They also allow members of the Institute, members who pay, from all over the world, they allow those members access to use onsite servers and computer systems.  So maybe that has something to do with it.

Im sure we will find out and it won't be as exciting as we all hoped.

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2 hours ago, EastownLeo said:

The National Science Institute (Geek Group) has nothing to do with Tech Shop.  They actually hated Tech Shop.

The Homeland raid documents are sealed right now and no one is talking, so it might be a while before we get into.

Some media mentioned that the IRS was also onsite.  There are a load of things it could be.

The Geek Group has had tax issues in the past when they were located in Kalamazoo.

They also are a Non-Profit that takes donations of equipment and materials, maybe that is part of it.

They also Dabble in Bitcoin, maybe that has something to do with it.

They also allow members of the Institute, members who pay, from all over the world, they allow those members access to use onsite servers and computer systems.  So maybe that has something to do with it.

Im sure we will find out and it won't be as exciting as we all hoped.

I have it on pretty good authority that it has something to do with a Bitcoin fraud.  Not sure if it was the folks from GG themselves or someone using their facility and equipment.  A lot of computers were seized.

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8 hours ago, ModSquad said:

I have it on pretty good authority that it has something to do with a Bitcoin fraud.  Not sure if it was the folks from GG themselves or someone using their facility and equipment.  A lot of computers were seized.

Interesting. I hope not. While I haven’t been there, it seems like they do some pretty cool stuff/great place for people interested in STEM to explore.

Joe

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