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snoogit

Whats the biggest Grand Rapids eyesore?

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you know they are out there. The decaying industrial buildings on 131, The Downtown post office, the view coming out of the convention center, the GR Press offices.

Whats the biggest eyesore to the city?

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I think the biggest eyesore in downtown GR is the post office. If they get that torn down it'll actually make the Olds Manor look better too. I mean when you look at the Olds Manor you see the ugly post office crowding it's space and it almost makes you sick. :cry:

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There is a building on Front street that is perfectly viewable while driving the S-curve either direction that is just awful. It is just south of 131, about 5 stories, and has a lovely cell tower planted on it. I've always hated it and wished someone would just put it out of its misery.

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There is a building on Front street that is perfectly viewable while driving the S-curve either direction that is just awful. It is just south of 131, about 5 stories, and has a lovely cell tower planted on it. I've always hated it and wished someone would just put it out of its misery.

That one should not be around for long. GVSU has owned it for some time now. I believe that the plan is to convert it into housing, but who knows.

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That one should not be around for long.  GVSU has owned it for some time now.  I believe that the plan is to convert it into housing, but who knows.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

is it even convertable? I seem to get the sense that that building is standing up bynothing more then a few weak I beams

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How can I pick just one? Here are a few:

1) As stated before, the big ugly green federal building

2) The Fifth Third Building and it's sheek concrete prison look

3) The Post office, including the 2 story parking deck with perfectly matched aluminum siding ramp

4) The Grand Rapids Press Building

and finally...

5) Any building with aluminum siding covering it's former glory. (although you see it less and less these days)

There are also many buildings that are standing today that are far inferior to what they replaced (Old City Hall, Old Court House, The depot that stood on the spot of the post office, the depot that is now a parking lot on Ionia). But that list would go on and on... ;)

Joe

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That one should not be around for long.  GVSU has owned it for some time now.  I believe that the plan is to convert it into housing, but who knows.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I thought GVSU owned that building also, but I recently asked my brother that works for GVSU in the Eberhard Center across the street about that building. He said the GVSU doesn't own that one but does own several on Front Ave there that we donated to them.

I do agree though that is an eyesore. That cell tower on top of it makes it worse too.

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Interesting considering that DeWitt Barrel moved their entire operation to Marne a year or so ago. I am almost positve that GVSU either owns the building or has an option for it. I even at one point recall discussion of what they were going to do with it.

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How can I pick just one? Here are a few:

1) As stated before, the big ugly green federal building

2) The Fifth Third Building and it's sheek concrete prison look

3) The Post office, including the 2 story parking deck with perfectly matched aluminum siding ramp

4) The Grand Rapids Press Building

and finally...

5) Any building with aluminum siding covering it's former glory. (although you see it less and less these days)

There are also many buildings that are standing today that are far inferior to what they replaced (Old City Hall, Old Court House, The depot that stood on the spot of the post office, the depot that is now a parking lot on Ionia). But that list would go on and on... ;)

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Joe,

Your list is comprehensive and very accurate. The GR Press Building is stinging for both of the eyes, let alone just one ;-). In a perfect world, we

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I believe Devries Construction owns it. They actually won a lawsuit against the city for turning the road into a cul de sac. They had intended to turn it into lofts but now it is stuck in never never land. It was originally built as an A&P warehouse and is supposed to be built like a bomb shelter. I'm sure they will renovate it for GVSU housing; whether privately or by selling it to GVSU.

Joe

I thought GVSU owned that building also, but I recently asked my brother that works for GVSU in the Eberhard Center across the street about that building. He said the GVSU doesn't own that one but does own several on Front Ave there that we donated to them.

I do agree though that is an eyesore. That cell tower on top of it makes it worse too.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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that new precast building behind the area....with the sail

crap-tack-ular precast color...doesnt fit or stick out.....just ugly. funny somebody wrote "this building is ugly" on the side of it in big black marker.....

hahaha

crumbs...

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that new precast building behind the area....with the sail

crap-tack-ular precast color...doesnt fit or stick out.....just ugly. funny somebody wrote "this building is ugly" on the side of it in big black marker.....

hahaha

crumbs...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Mr. Knowitall,

I agree to some degree. I don't think it is the worst design in the world, but the precast aggragate pebble facade? I thought it had a seat in architectural hell right next to aluminum siding. ;) They could have spent a bit more on the facade and I would have liked it...

Now I want to see some of your projects! :)

Joe

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This one might surprise some of you, some of you will heatily disagree, but I think another eyesore in Grand Rapids is the GRCC campus.

Its basically a menagerie of different archetechural styles most coming from the utilitarian 60's and 70's era. The only striking building there is the Main building (the oldest of them all built in 1912) Personally, if someone gave GRCC an incentive to move, (I'd say to the GR Golf course, where the Zoo was planned to go) I'd hope they pounce on the chance. I think that campus would be the perfect spot for the MSU med school. Its right in between spectrum, and saint mary's hospitals and has easy access to Med. Mile.

If that were to happen, I'd really look at demolishing all but the main building, and the new caulkins science bldg. Rebuilding the campus, and converting the Main building into student housing. Then you could use the somewhat new caulkins science building for medical offices like Towers is/was (since towers is being torn down).

Its just another one of those buildings with the concrete clad walls that make you go eeew.

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Snoogit,

I agree. The GRCC campus is uniform in it's blandness. The Science building is not terrible, but could have been designed better. I think the music building is also nice (as well as the original building). The rest of it could be imploded and I wouldn't care... ;) The Applied Technology center is UGLY.

Joe

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Snoogit,

I agree. The GRCC campus is uniform in it's blandness. The Science building is not terrible, but could have been designed better. I think the music building is also nice (as well as the original building). The rest of it could be imploded and I wouldn't care... ;) The Applied Technology center is UGLY.

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

heh the only reason I say to save to science building is because its notthat old, and blowing up would seem kind of premature, but as for the rest of the campus, hey if the wrecking ball came down tomorrow, you wouldnt see me shed a tear.

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And here come the photos...brace youselves!

The Gerald R Ford Federal Building: (I'd sure hate to have my name on that thing.)

P1010022.jpg

City Hall and County Building:

P1010008.jpg

GR Press Headquarters:

P1010012.jpg

5/3 Bank Building:

P1010005.jpg

Bank One Building:

P1010007.jpg

State Building: (hello brutalism)

P1010010.jpg

Tower Building and parking ramp: (although there have been talks about building the MSU medical school on this site)

P1010018.jpg

"Hello, I'm an out-of-town visitor and have just finished my convention at DeVos Place. I think I'll go out and see what else there is to do in this city..." one step out the door and BAM! Welcome to GR?

P1010026.jpg

At least the rest of those are contained to one part of downtown. This little blemish drives me crazy, especially considering all the revitalization going on around it:

P1010001.jpg

And the winner of biggest eyesore, as seen wedged between two far superior structres, eating up a valuable slice of riverfront land, the Post Office: (I'm not in support of euthanasia, but in this case, PLEASE just put it out of its misery!)

P1010023.jpg

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I am in agreement on almost all the photos you submitted. I disagree, however. about the little black building on Monroe (address:60 something). It is a classic deco bank building and would make a great restaurant. I would live there if I could afford to. In that same deco vein, I would like to say that I LOVE the restored lobby of the Welch Auditorium. It serves as the lobby for the newly built DeVos Place Convention Rooms. It is a masterpiece of wood work, stone, metal and newly added lighting. The wood wainscoting has a great 3 step cap (expensive to do now-a-days) and is proportioned beautifully. Wow. I want to live there too. The only downside is the wood on the walls was refinished and in bright light you can see the brush marks. Otherwise, well done.

GRguy

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I agree GRguy, the building on Monroe is a great example of an Art Deco bank building. Take a look at the lights in the entranceway, they are great. This building is also a part of the renovation going on with the other buildings on Monroe Center. I think it offers a stark, yet nice contrast to the Italianate structures on the block. I think if the right user comes along and emphasizes it's deco pedigree, it will look fantastic! It would make a good martini bar :alc:

GR Centro, thanks for posting the pics. Looking at the fieldstone wall, the city should REALLY do something about this. Public Art, redevelopment, ANYTHING... :)

Joe

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In regards to the bad stone wall, I remember reading something a year or two ago where it was suggested that the upper plaza be extended and new storefronts be added to the sidewalk. I loved that idea! Walk out of the convention center and see an interesting mix of restaurants and shops. Love it.

GRguy

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And not to forget (as previously mentioned) one of Heartside's newest buildings. This is one of those structures that will only look worse with time. I like to call it, "What happens when a egotistical architectect gets a tight budget."

P1010090.jpg

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Haven't been around Grand Rapids long enough to say the biggest eyesore, although while driving downtown with amazement I was surprise to see a little ways off down the road decay buildings... didn't look to attracting in that area so I didn't really go check it out.

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We all seem to agree on the biggest offenders - Press Building, Post Office, 5th/3rd, many of the GRCC buildings (although I love the science building), Federal and State Office buildings but I'd like to add a new one to the list - DeVos Place. I agree with an earlier post about the part that used to be the old Civic Auditorium - the renovated facade and addition that now house the centers ballrooms are quite beautiful but the main exhibition building is as bad as any of the 60's era urban renewal buildings we all seem to hate. Too big for the site and extremely cold to pedestrians on the Monroe side. The entrance to DeVos Hall works for me but the rest of the building will not stand the test of time.

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We all seem to agree on the biggest offenders - Press Building, Post Office, 5th/3rd, many of the GRCC buildings (although I love the science building), Federal and State Office buildings but I'd like to add a new one to the list - DeVos Place. I agree with an earlier post about the part that used to be the old Civic Auditorium - the renovated facade and addition that now house the centers ballrooms are quite beautiful but the main exhibition building is as bad as any of the 60's era urban renewal buildings we all seem to hate. Too big for the site and extremely cold to pedestrians on the Monroe side. The entrance to DeVos Hall works for me but the rest of the building will not stand the test of time.

Gotta disagree here. I think that DeVos Place fits wonderfully into the skyline architecturally and serves a great purpose. If it was any smaller they would be no point in building the convention center b/c it wouldn't be appealing to larger conventions. If they put up some lighted posters advertising coming attractions (plays, musicals, concerts, conventions) I think the Monroe side would look perfectly fine. I'd be more concerned about the ugly parking garages across the street. That should be a corridor of restaurants, retail, and entertainment venues for anyone going there. Walking over by the VA isn't a bad walk in the summer but during the fall/winter (especially at night) would be brutal.

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