Crafting Your Experience

MichiganHistory
Experience Grand Rapids

History Around the Corner

You'll find historical stories hiding around many corners in Grand Rapids. Discover 11 of these historical snippets located on a short walk around downtown.

  • 1.

    Ecliptic

    Ecliptic

    Rosa Parks Circle is the setting for “Ecliptic,” a unique sculpture by Maya Lin.

  • 2.

    Grand Rapids Public Museum

    Grand Rapids Public Museum

    The bell hung in a wooden tower, calling Grand Rapids’ volunteer firefighters into action.

  • 3.

    Ah-Nab-Awen Park

    Ah-Nab-Awen Park

    Grand Rapids was once home to 46 mounds created by people of the Hopewell Culture.

  • 4.

    Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

    Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

    In the early days of the village, almost everyone owned a cow, some chickens, and pigs.

  • 5.

    Gillett Bridge

    Gillett Bridge

    Over the course of the city’s history, the Grand River has been both friend and foe alike.

  • 6.

    Lyon Plaza

    Lyon Plaza

    Built at the height of the Great Depression, the Civic Auditorium was a boon to many in Grand Rapids.

  • 7.

    Blue Bridge West

    Blue Bridge West

    Arriving as a boy in 1854, Charles Belknap, described the several islands that graced the Grand River.

  • 8.

    Blue Bridge East

    Blue Bridge East

    The Grand and the Rapids were two classic steamboats that once called Grand Rapids their home.

  • 9.

    Gerald R. Ford

    Gerald R. Ford

    In the eyes of Grand Rapids, Gerald Ford was the epitome of an all-American boy.

  • 10.

    Pearl Street Bridge

    Pearl Street Bridge

    A Civil War homecoming was held at the covered Pearl Street Bridge; the only place sufficient in length.

  • 11.

    McKay Tower

    McKay Tower

    Grand Rapids had its own distinguished streetcar history

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