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sparky05

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Does that development actually exist (completed)?

I know that's a sidebar to your post, but I was just wondering.

THeir web page screams "my bright idea that never got funded."

The "News" Page shows a house on the water and it sounds like some of the courses are being used for competition:

May 2009 - Our home is almost complete. Landscaping is being planted and the irrigation system is being installed. I am almost done with the drainage system - very important on a lakefront home. Next, I am completing the audio systems. Lots to do.

The new jump ramp surface has been installed. We are letting it settle in before waxing the surface and installing the flotation, irrigation, and lighting systems (yes, solar LED lights along the edge).

Bay 3 slalom course has been exposed and the GVSU Ski Team has been on it frequently. The West Michigan Water Ski Association - the Grand City Show Ski Team - has been on Lake 2 while the Grand River subsides. As soon as the Parade of Homes starts, Bay 1 slalom course will be exposed. Bay 2's sub-buoys need to be completed and that should be done by the end of May.

June 26 and 27 is the Global Invitational (www.globalinvitational.com). Tickets are available at Action Watersports (616-896-3100). Sponsorship information is available by e-mailing [email protected] We expect a big crowd for one of the very few pro tournaments this year. The competition should be fierce - and you can be close enough to feel the mist from the passing skier.

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The "News" Page shows a house on the water and it sounds like some of the courses are being used for competition:

May 2009 - Our home is almost complete. Landscaping is being planted and the irrigation system is being installed. I am almost done with the drainage system - very important on a lakefront home. Next, I am completing the audio systems. Lots to do.

The new jump ramp surface has been installed. We are letting it settle in before waxing the surface and installing the flotation, irrigation, and lighting systems (yes, solar LED lights along the edge).

Bay 3 slalom course has been exposed and the GVSU Ski Team has been on it frequently. The West Michigan Water Ski Association - the Grand City Show Ski Team - has been on Lake 2 while the Grand River subsides. As soon as the Parade of Homes starts, Bay 1 slalom course will be exposed. Bay 2's sub-buoys need to be completed and that should be done by the end of May.

June 26 and 27 is the Global Invitational (www.globalinvitational.com). Tickets are available at Action Watersports (616-896-3100). Sponsorship information is available by e-mailing [email protected] We expect a big crowd for one of the very few pro tournaments this year. The competition should be fierce - and you can be close enough to feel the mist from the passing skier.

I read that too... couldn't figure out if it was one house and the lake that were finished, or if there were more houses going in.

Bad website, that's for sure.

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Naming this place "Placid Lake" is akin to the "Rolling Pheasant Meadows" or "Fox Run Forest" type of strip-mined suburban developments.

IMHO

Actually, despite my distaste for man-made lakes, I disagree.... there aren't any running fox or forests in the developments you decry. Similarly we'd never see rolling pheasants (what are those, anyway?) or meadows.

But placid lake will most definitely be a placid "lake" when it's finished. The name fits in this case.

To go with your motif, they'd have called it something like "Windy Shores" or "Lighthouse Place"

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Actually, despite my distaste for man-made lakes, I disagree.... there aren't any running fox or forests in the developments you decry. Similarly we'd never see rolling pheasants (what are those, anyway?) or meadows.

But placid lake will most definitely be a placid "lake" when it's finished. The name fits in this case.

To go with your motif, they'd have called it something like "Windy Shores" or "Lighthouse Place"

Guess that's the UP April Fool joke? My point is: the subject names reflect no remaining characteristics of their locales.

"Placid" means calm, quiet, and unsullied by water skiers and noisy personal watercraft.

HTH

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  • 2 weeks later...

I noticed while on a bike ride on Sunday that there was a big freshly-graded area just to the west of the MAC on Burton east of Breton. Looked like something was going to be built there soon. Anyone know what it is?

Also, on the same ride, we discovered that there is a convenient* pedestrian access from Alger St. to Kohl's near Woodland Mall.

*convenient meaning that if it's wet, you just have to step across the makeshift bridge made of rocks and 2x8 boards. But hey, at least you don't have to climb a fence. :)

4512847638_f07be8497b_b.jpg

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I noticed while on a bike ride on Sunday that there was a big freshly-graded area just to the west of the MAC on Burton east of Breton. Looked like something was going to be built there soon. Anyone know what it is?

Also, on the same ride, we discovered that there is a convenient* pedestrian access from Alger St. to Kohl's near Woodland Mall.

*convenient meaning that if it's wet, you just have to step across the makeshift bridge made of rocks and 2x8 boards. But hey, at least you don't have to climb a fence. :)

4512847638_f07be8497b_b.jpg

That was a pocket park with a connection to the Mall built by someone in the neighborhood or at Raybrook (Memory isn't what it used to be :rolleyes: ). Looks like no one is taking care of it.

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Maybe this is posted somewhere else, but the former Public Museum at 54 Jefferson will be open this Friday as part of Art.Downtown.

(Not to be confused with the former Art Museum.)

This is a super cool space.

Actually, it's not part of Art.Downtown. It's called the Michigan Land of Riches exhibit:

http://www.rapidgrowthmedia.com/features/040810amenta.aspx

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Maybe this is posted somewhere else, but the former Public Museum at 54 Jefferson will be open this Friday as part of Art.Downtown.

(Not to be confused with the former Art Museum.)

This is a super cool space.

Here’s an mlive link:

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/04/groups_collaborate_to_re-inven.html

This gives me an excuse to write a little about my favorite dead Grand Rapids architect, Roger Allen. Allen deliberately designed the exterior of this museum to have the features that we now consider to be new urbanism. Unlike most other museums of the day, the entrance was very approachable at street level with no set back from the sidewalk and no stairs. It featured display windows similar to a retail store with the idea of catching the eye of passing pedestrians (although I don't remember the museum staff ever being capable of creating a memorable window display.)

Roger Allen besides being an architect was also a writer. During the depression when architectural commissions were pretty much non-existent he worked as a newspaper editor for George Welsh. Later he wrote a several times weekly humor column in the Grand Rapids Press called Fired at Random. In almost every issue of the Readers Digest some of his jokes were reprinted. This was back when the Readers Digest was a big deal being the largest circulation magazine in the world. And he collected antique cars, was an after dinner speaker, and was in general an all around bon vivant. Like his contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright, he'd winter in Scottsdale Arizona, although I have no idea if they knew each other.

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Interesting information. Did Roger Allen design anything else in GR that is still standing?

Joe

Here’s an mlive link:

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/04/groups_collaborate_to_re-inven.html

This gives me an excuse to write a little about my favorite dead Grand Rapids architect, Roger Allen. Allen deliberately designed the exterior of this museum to have the features that we now consider to be new urbanism. Unlike most other museums of the day, the entrance was very approachable at street level with no set back from the sidewalk and no stairs. It featured display windows similar to a retail store with the idea of catching the eye of passing pedestrians (although I don't remember the museum staff ever being capable of creating a memorable window display.)

Roger Allen besides being an architect was also a writer. During the depression when architectural commissions were pretty much non-existent he worked as a newspaper editor for George Welsh. Later he wrote a several times weekly humor column in the Grand Rapids Press called Fired at Random. In almost every issue of the Readers Digest some of his jokes were reprinted. This was back when the Readers Digest was a big deal being the largest circulation magazine in the world. And he collected antique cars, was an after dinner speaker, and was in general an all around bon vivant. Like his contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright, he'd winter in Scottsdale Arizona, although I have no idea if they knew each other.

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I noticed while on a bike ride on Sunday that there was a big freshly-graded area just to the west of the MAC on Burton east of Breton. Looked like something was going to be built there soon. Anyone know what it is?

I guessing that this might help. Rapid Growth to the rescue!

http://www.rapidgrowthmedia.com/devnews/apple0415.aspx

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Interesting information. Did Roger Allen design anything else in GR that is still standing?

Joe

Besides the museum whether Allen was prone to new urbanism type design elements I do not know. Churches and school buildings, particularly college buildings, were his bread and butter. He did Grace Episcopal Church in Holland, and St. Thomas The Apostle Catholic Church in Grand Rapids. Years ago I can remember seeing the name of his firm on a sign for an addition to Blessed Sacrament Church School over on Diamond. He may have done the original Church and school too, I'm not sure. He also did the original planetarium building next to the old museum that has since been torn down.

In order to find more answers I stopped over at the library today to see what his obituary said. He died May 30, 1971. They noted that he was the architect for all but one of the buildings at Ferris State University, and he designed, remodeled, or added to all but three buildings at Central Michigan University. At CMU that would have been eighty-five buildings in all. On the internet I found mention of at least one building at Michigan State. It would be reasonable to think there might have been more. Here's a link to a web site that shows pictures and a narratives of the buildings of CMU. Most every one is by Roger Allen.

CMU BUILDINGD

For the most part, they look like your generic orange brick post WW II college buildings. Was he an innovator or copier or just really good at pumping out buildings? Not sure.

They also mentioned that until he was too old and frail, his column appeared daily in the paper and he also had a regular column in Architectural Forum magazine. What amazes me is that he could come up with a enough funny stuff every day for a column and do that as a hobby besides doing his regular work.

The obit said that "his wit brought him hundreds of offers as toastmaster" and "it has been said of Mr. Allen that he probably talked to more meetings of architectural groups than anyone but Frank Lloyd Wright," and it mentions that yes they did know each other.

But he wasn't the most interesting architect in the family, that would be his older brother. His father was a Grand Rapids architect. The father's firm was Frank Allen and Son. After WW I the son was Roger, but around 1900 it was Frank Jr.

Frank Jr. left his father to go work for Daniel Burnham in Chicago and then headed for the west coast where he had an almost Burnham like career. Here's a link to a very good biography of Frank Jr. and accompaning images. Kind of unexplained he died in an accident in relative obscurity after having a renown career.

Frank Jr Bio

Frank Jr Images

The link mentions Hoffman Apartments in Grand Rapids. I think that is the apartment building at 68 Ransom now called Park Place.

The reason I said in the earlier post that Roger Allen was my favorite dead Grand Rapids architect wasn't because of the architecture. It was because of his humor column and his jokes in the Readers Digest and because I knew him (although barely.) He went to our church and one day when I was around ten years old, back in the late 50's, my grandmother introduced me to him. Unlike my parents, my grandmother seemed to know a lot of important people. It's hard to believe now but it used to be that even kids back then read newspapers so I already knew who he was because I read his columns and I read his jokes in the Readers Digest. He was the only celebrity I knew.

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Interesting stuff Walker. Thanks for the history lesson. I love this kind of stuff.

Joe

Yes, great stuff Walker. I have never heard of Mr. Allen, but certainly loved the old Public Museum building. It is nice the way the building opens onto the street, and not to a series of monumental steps.

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I read the bio of Roger Allen's more talented brother (his work in San Diego is still celebrated) and looked at the stuff that Allen's firm did at CMU. Uggghhh. It looks like the sort of generic state architecture that mars the postwar campuses of our public universities. Grace Episcopal Church in Holland is nice, but of a very conventional stripped down Gothic style that can be seen on many Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist churches built during the postwar years (as well as for other denominations).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can't remember if this has been asked before, but does anyone know what's going on in this building on the riverfront by the bicycle factory? Looks like they're replacing all the windows and doing interior renovations.

(bad image, taken from my droid)

4601929916_7055ce3dd7_b.jpg

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GVSU owns the building and they are doing window replacement, roof replacement, roof structure repair, brick repointing, parapet replacement/repair and dressing up the entrances. Nothing going on inside other then its current use which is book storage on the first floor.

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A bit of internet searching...there are event schedules on a couple of waterboarding sites, some realty listings, and a couple of crazed bloggers. This one suggests that the site design and intent have changed a bit from the original proposal.

Also a Facebook page with what could be an updated aerial.

(Insert editorial comment about overuse of exclamation points!!!!!)

Hey, a lunch & learn opportunity! This would be awesome!!

Here is a 2009 summer photo from my GIS Software. Looks like one lonely house!

post-8727-127379938315_thumb.jpg

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GVSU owns the building and they are doing window replacement, roof replacement, roof structure repair, brick repointing, parapet replacement/repair and dressing up the entrances. Nothing going on inside other then its current use which is book storage on the first floor.

Do you have a reliable source for this info?

Grand River Aseptic Pharmaceutical Packaging is the tenant in this building. Their sign has been up since last May or June. It's a start-up partnered with GVSU and the Van Andel Institute that will do small batch pharmaceutical packaging for trails, including freeze drying and other sterilized packaging applications. When I spoke with the President last fall about what upcoming job openings they might be have they had just hired a Quality Project Manager (or something like that) to develop their quality system and design the validations for all of their sterilization processes and were estimating they would be hiring their first tech position sometime in March.

I ride by there every morning and afternoon and have been watching the work. I like the way the windows keep some of the historical aesthetic. I think they are a good fit. I assumed they would have gotten some of the machinery in there by now, but I haven't heard anything for certain in awhile. Here is their website:

http://www.grandriverapp.com/

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Sorry, I should clarify, I was only referring to the 4 story building. The existing addition to the south, which the tenant occupies on the first floor, is not part of the scope of work. The exception being window replacement on its second floor.

The construction documents are my source :ph34r:

Edited by Gorath
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've seen a lot of Collier's signs around town lately (I think they took over Grubb Ellis).

They might want to update their files. I found this amusing listing for space in 180 Monroe (Mojo's) that must be 8-10 years old. It has a completely different facade (which you think they'd like to showcase).

http://www.carwm.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=property.detailFL&ln=6368

Nice work on that one guys! :)

Joe

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