Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Watching Downtown bloom
that cool Art Moderne building Junior Achievement abandoned would get a makeover and a chance to shine again? It sat there empty so long, still beautiful, still interesting under layers of grime and broken glass block. And there is TowerPinkster today, occupying it with pride.
Devos Place turns ten this month. Having a safe location was no doubt as asset for the owners, but there wasn't nearly as much to see and do downtown a decade ago. Van Andel was there, the Gerald R. Ford Museum was there, but ArtPrize wasn't even dreamed of, the brewery culture hadn't taken off, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum was still over on Division in the Federal Building that was purchased and renovated by Kendell College of Art and Design. It was rededicated in June of this year and looks fantastic.
Travel the S-Curve and you'll see cranes looming over the city and buildings being wrapped like Christmas presents. The new Grand Valley Seidman Center has taken the place of an old warehouse, but that whole Pew Campus is brand new, not to mention the shiny YMCA building. Follow the S-Curve and the Custer building salutes you, and the renovated Founders Brewing Company peeks out over her shoulder. Drive a little way further and you can peek into the greenhouses of the new Downtown Market.
It's almost like a brand new city! What are your memories of the Grand Rapids that used to be?