Welcome to Architecture Grand Rapids where you will find guided architectural tours, stories about homes and buildings, interesting neighborhoods, classic and modern architectural styles, and a growing list of architects and contractors who created the built environment in Greater Grand Rapids and neighboring cities between 1850-1980.
Since 2012, the Amway Grand Plaza has been designated one of the Historic Hotels of America due to its famous history as the former Pantlind Hotel constructed when the economy of Grand Rapids was booming and the city was becoming known as the furniture capital of the world.
BUILDING DETAILS: The new hotel was designed in the neoclassical style of the Scottish architecture Robert Adam, a style employed by New York City architects Warren & Wetmore who also designed Grand Central Station. The hotel was considered an elegant gathering place for visiting dignitaries and affluent business people. The facade is a rich brick with an elaborate stone cornice, entries and window trim. The monumental building is located at the intersection of Monroe and Pearl in downtown Grand Rapids, at the apex of the angled streets platted by Louis Campau and the grid section platted by Lucius Lyon, both founding but competing fathers of the city. The hotel's historic interior includes in the lobby with three magnificent Czechoslovakian chandeliers of Austrian Crystal each weighing about 4,000 pounds, and a gold-leafed domed ceiling that is the largest gold leaf installation in the United States. The lobby also boasts a wooden-gilded sunburst that originally hung in the palace of a Venice merchant. (Note: Lobby description from the hotel website.)
HISTORY: Established in 1913 on the site of the former Sweet's Hotel by Boyd Pantlind, the hotel opened to the public in 1916 and was known by 1925 as one of the finest hotels in the country. In 1981, the Amway Corporation restored and refurbished the hotel and added a modern Glass Tower. Adjacent to the Grand River, visitors to the hotel can take the bridge across the historic Grand River and walk to Grand Rapids Public Museum and to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.