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Downtown GR As Site for Urban Architecture Tours


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With downtown GR becoming "Crane City" and with it being predicted to grow with vertical development for the next 30 to 50 years, wouldn't it be appropriate to consciously influence developers to commission world-class architects to design our future skyline? Chicago's mix of being the originator of skyscrapers, having eclectic cutting edge highrise architecture and well-maintained historic architecture has made it a repository and living museum of urban architecture. The JW Marriott, designed by Chicago's Goettsch Partners and how it blends seamlessly with the surrounding older architecture got me thinking about GR adding this "living museum of urban architecture" effect to its bag of tricks for attacting visitors to the city.

With that said, here are a few world-scale architects I'd like to see developers utilize for downtown GR:

-Goettsch Partners, Inc. (additional work by them)

-Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

-Kenzo Tange & Associates

-Cesar Pelli & Asociates

What other architects would you like to see represented in downtown GR's skyline in the future?

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I'd like to see some Anthony Slater works, too.. when I become the next famous architect. (It's healthy to have your head in the clouds once in a while!)

I think we have a great collection of architecturally magnificent churches around here which could really be an element in such a tour.. providing they stop relocating to god-awful warehouses.

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Well, you have Solon Beman's great Michigan Trust building -- Chicago School hits West Michigan. And Cobb's St. Cecilia Society building. These are two examples from leading Chicago architects of the late 19th century.

Unfortunately, a lot of the 1960s 1970s downtown stuff is pretty bad (the Federal Building, GR Press, 5th Third Bank, State of Michigan Building, etc.). It might be a short tour, unless it included the great downtown churches, St. Mark's Episcopal (1840s frontier Gothic), Fountain Street (Romanesque 1920s), St. Andrew's Cathedral, St. Mary's RC (a little bit of Germany in the New World), Immanuel Lutheran (a little more Germany in the New World), La Grave CRC (stripped tradition, 1960 style) and Westminster Presbyterian (red brick extravaganza).

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I happen to dissagree with the 5/3 and state of MI buildings that everyone hatesas being ugly, they do have some style from that era. The press and the federal buildings on the other hand have terrible use of land and I agree are very ugly.

Good point with the churches but there is no way that a tour is happenning anytime soon. There is a lot of optimism here but realistically there are few cities in the country that have the size, history, mix of style or uniquness as well as tourism to support tours. GR as a "baby Chicago moniker", I dont agree with GR is close to chicago geographically so naturally there is some influence form the bigger city but I think GR is actually quite unique compared to other midwest cities

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