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GRDadof3

Boom! We've come a long way baby

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I'm working on a project right now, and pouring through my flickr account (going back to 2005), I found a ton of pictures that I thought might interest people here. I'm hoping I don't have to add descriptions, so just let me know if you have questions about specific ones. :thumbsup: (most of these are from 2007 - 2009)

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When I get a chance, I'll try and dig up all the "after" shots.

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Freakish!

I couldn't even recognize which city I was looking at in many of those photos.

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An idea - several of the recent natural disasters (Japan, Joplin) have run shots with Before and After on one image, with a digital slider (like an airplane window cover) that can be moved to appreciate the difference. I am guessing that's a simple on-line application like the one that converts any image into tiny little images.

Will be fun to see whatever you post!

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I have some favorites, but I particularly like the old truck depot that Founders is in now and the Peacock Building with that gawd awful wood siding on the windows.

I think I may have posted this one before:

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And some Wealthy St favorites:

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Would be interesting to see how many of these projects received Brownfield redevelopment credits.

The before photos of Founders are a bit shocking. I guess I never really went by there before they started construction.

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Would be interesting to see how many of these projects received Brownfield redevelopment credits.

The before photos of Founders are a bit shocking. I guess I never really went by there before they started construction.

Here's another one of the old truck depot. Someone did a photo montage of it, including the interior, but I can't seem to find it.

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Not that long ago, South Division pre-MSU:

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Aha, here it is. I forgot that it was called Preston Trucking depot.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradgillette/sets/72157600010806488/with/427834934/

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And that wasn't even everything that has been rehabbed, or built! I love seeing that stuff; it's amazing all the things that have been accomplished, and there is more to come! Speaking of Founders, they are preparing to add another 5k sf to the Grandville Ave facility! Before you know it they will build out that whole block!

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Division Ave torn up:

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Here's another.

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My burned-up Bicycle Factory. Waaahhhh!

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Some sights you don't see anymore:

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Pre ArtPrize! Tom Otterness.

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Apparently this wall is getting a new mural for ArtPrize:

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Criminy, a lot of the city was looking tired and old. Makes me want to go take a bike ride around downtown now. :thumbsup:

I'll have to do a post of all the project renderings that never were...

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alc.gifI wish it was still called Beaners!!!

But, great pictures, GRDad! Thanks!

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alc.gifI wish it was still called Beaners!!!

But, great pictures, GRDad! Thanks!

You're welcome!

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Great pics. Amazing how far we've come in such a short time. Hope we keep it up! :)

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Great pics. Amazing how far we've come in such a short time. Hope we keep it up! :)

When I look at it like this, it makes me realize what a flurry of redevelopment GR saw in such a short period (basically since UrbanPlanet took off about 6 years ago). I think it's pretty much unprecedented for a city of Grand Rapids' size.

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I recall a thread that showed GR tends to experience a burst of development about every 10 years, and it's increased each time. Just imagine what we'll see happening 4 years from now, if the trend continues. =]

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Has anyone else noticed how Bing Maps can be a trip down Memory Lane? I think the Bird's Eye images were taken over a period from 2007 to 2008, and it's amazing how dated they are.

EDIT: I had a bunch of links to Bing images up here, but I couldn't get the website to support so many.

At any rate, get on the Bird's Eye and look for:

-JW Marriott (still being built)

-GRAM (still being built)

-Riverhouse (just starting)

-Medical Mile (still being built)

-VAI Phase 2 (depending on the zoom, either not there or being built)

-Gallery on Fulton (empty lot)

-Cooley (still being built)

-38 Commerce (parking lot)

-Jefferson Ave. (Hope Lodge & St. Mary's buildings still being built)

-Diocese of GR (depending on the angle, either not there or being built)

-Founders (Still vacant)

-GR Ballet (Not there)

-Icon on Bond (Still being built)

-Keller Labs (Still being built)

-Bicycle Factory (depending on the zoom, either not there or being built)

-Seward Ave. Projects (Still being built)

-Plante & Moran (Depending on the zoom, either not there or being built)

-Little Mexico (the original)

-Cherry Street (Blodgett House still being rebuilt)

-Wealthy and Diamond (depending on the angle, either not there or being built)

-Ford Middle School (still being built)

-Iroquois Middle School (still there)

-Ford Airport Parking ramp (depending on the zoom, either not there or being built)

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Permit me a small grouse. One of those great pictures posted by Dad showed the Macatawa Bank on Ottawa Street NW, which used to be the local office of Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. (Yes, all the names were used.) This building was the first international style structure in downtown GR (predating the Vandenberg Center buildings by nearly 10 years) and was designed, I believe, by Skidmore. The re-skinning of this building was not, IMHO, a progressive move. (In Dad's picture, taken in 2005, the first floor has already been altered from the original design.)

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... It already looks like a bad re-skin job in the picture. The "design" basically consists of a bunch of glass panels all stacked on each other and glued to the side of the building. Whoopee. If I come up with the idea of building a 5 story building out of T111 vertical board barn siding do I get a prize for my progressivism, too? Personally, I think most of the improvements to the buildings in the photos look fantastic compared to what was before.

Permit me a small grouse. One of those great pictures posted by Dad showed the Macatawa Bank on Ottawa Street NW, which used to be the local office of Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. (Yes, all the names were used.) This building was the first international style structure in downtown GR (predating the Vandenberg Center buildings by nearly 10 years) and was designed, I believe, by Skidmore. The re-skinning of this building was not, IMHO, a progressive move. (In Dad's picture, taken in 2005, the first floor has already been altered from the original design.)

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Permit me a small grouse. One of those great pictures posted by Dad showed the Macatawa Bank on Ottawa Street NW, which used to be the local office of Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. (Yes, all the names were used.) This building was the first international style structure in downtown GR (predating the Vandenberg Center buildings by nearly 10 years) and was designed, I believe, by Skidmore. The re-skinning of this building was not, IMHO, a progressive move. (In Dad's picture, taken in 2005, the first floor has already been altered from the original design.)

On thing to remember is the skin of that building has changed many times. The "modern" skin of the RDV/Macatawa building was not the first skin for that building. I know somewhere out there is a pic of a highly ornate 1890s facade. I think Chris Knape published it during the RDV renovation. I'm not sure which one of the many faces I like best.

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On thing to remember is the skin of that building has changed many times. The "modern" skin of the RDV/Macatawa building was not the first skin for that building. I know somewhere out there is a pic of a highly ornate 1890s facade. I think Chris Knape published it during the RDV renovation. I'm not sure which one of the many faces I like best.

Has Davenport started re-renovating it yet? There may be a new face soon.

EDIT: CRAP. Nevermind. Sorry. Thanks GRDad.

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Permit me a small grouse. One of those great pictures posted by Dad showed the Macatawa Bank on Ottawa Street NW, which used to be the local office of Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. (Yes, all the names were used.) This building was the first international style structure in downtown GR (predating the Vandenberg Center buildings by nearly 10 years) and was designed, I believe, by Skidmore. The re-skinning of this building was not, IMHO, a progressive move. (In Dad's picture, taken in 2005, the first floor has already been altered from the original design.)

I agree with your grouse. Generally I dislike the international style as much if not more than most urbanplaneteers. But I always thought this one worked (before the re-skinning) since the glass facade was a nice contrast to all the dark colors and textures of the surrounding buildings on both sides of the street.

Regarding Merrill Lynch et al, all the stock brokers used to have a couple of rows of seats in their lobby where the old retired men (presumably with money) would gather to watch the big stock ticker on the wall. It was the old geezer version of hanging out downtown in pre-internet/cable TV days.

... It already looks like a bad re-skin job in the picture. The "design" basically consists of a bunch of glass panels all stacked on each other and glued to the side of the building. Whoopee. If I come up with the idea of building a 5 story building out of T111 vertical board barn siding do I get a prize for my progressivism, too? Personally, I think most of the improvements to the buildings in the photos look fantastic compared to what was before.

Simple isn't the same as bad. It, in my opinion, is all in the context. As a stand alone building I wouldn't have liked it either.

On thing to remember is the skin of that building has changed many times. The "modern" skin of the RDV/Macatawa building was not the first skin for that building. I know somewhere out there is a pic of a highly ornate 1890s facade. I think Chris Knape published it during the RDV renovation. I'm not sure which one of the many faces I like best.

If there is an earlier 1890's picture, it is an earlier building. I can remember when the glass building was dedicated. It was a big deal then since it had been the first new office building in Downtown Grand Rapids since the nineteen-twenties. There was even a local TV special for the dedication with all the local WOOD TV celebrities of the day (I'd guess Eddie Chase, Carol Devoe, Frank Slaymaker - the weatherman, Alex Dillingham. I'm guessing the spellings)

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