Miscellaneous then and now locations around Godwin and the surrounding area, in the form of photographs showing what a location looked like at various points in time. The topics are random, and simply reflect what photographs are available at this time. Comments and dates will be added where anything is known. When there is a sequence of buildings at a location, those will be included as well.

The Grand Rapids Museum has generously agreed to allow their photos to be displayed in somewhat smaller versions, in hopes of engaging young and old in the history of Grand Rapids. For those interested, the museum sells high resolution copies suitable for framing. Downtown businesses often use the photos as wall art, particularly in cases where they occupy a historic building. This helps pay the museum's expenses, including the environmentally controlled facilities housing its vast archives. Those interested in helping to scan old material, possibly in exchange for use of the material, should contact me.

Amasa B. Watson House
Carrier St. & College Ave.
Clarence Bigelow
Dime store row
Division & Burton - SW corner
Frank Rackett house
Franklin & Division - 1948 and 2011
GR Herald and Press buildings
GR Medical College Building
Jefferson and Fulton - southwest corner
Jefferson, south of Fulton - east side
Kellogsville Hotel - on old toll road
Livingston Hotel - later Davenport
Loyal order of Moose - Division & Cherry
Market & Monroe - Kresge
Neland & Franklin
North Lafayette
Perry Building - 215 Lagrave
Porter Block - later Herpolsheimer's
Sinclair - 665 Wealthy
Shipman coal - 1209 Plainfield
Stocking Theater
Sweets & Pantlind Hotels
Wealthy & Lake Drive







Amasa B. Watson house.



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


c1920

c1920

Address is wrong, or the
street numbers have changed.

1888

Back of house - 1927

1927 - front

1927 - rear

1929

June, 2011


Above is the Amasa B. Watson house, on the southeast corner of Sheldon and Fulton. Perhaps built in the early 1880's. Owner Amasa B. Watson died in 1888, apparently of a heart attack. For reference, one can see the Metz Building just to the east of the Watson house, on Fulton.

The structure built on the property after after the Watson house was razed was possibly owned by the Watson family. Typical of many buildings of the time, it was a general purpose building that housed just about anything as long as the owner paid rent for the space. The building still exists as of year 2015, but there have been many cosmetic changes to the outside, and likely many changes to the inside. The GR Press building, built in 1906, is, in year 2015, a parking lot. The Metz building is gone as well.

Left click on the images below for larger versions.



A bit about Amasa B. Watson. Characteristic of the well connected of the Grand Rapids of the 1870's and 1880's, he had many irons in various business fires. He served on various boards of directors. He was in the Civil War.











Sweets & Pantlind Hotels

Left click on the images below for larger versions.


1870

1920


The Sweets Hotel, left, above, replaced by the Pantlind Hotel, about 1915. The Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo interurban stopped on the Pearl Street side of the Pantlind.








Livingston Hotel - later Davenport



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


Before Hearald Building.

1924

1948

1948


The southeast corner of Fulton and Divsion. The Livingston hotel, after a fire in 1924. Building the Davenport building. The new Davenport building.

Note that the Livingston photo at the left, top row, shows six stories. There is some suspicion that there was a second fire at a time before 1924, and that the top two floor were removed. Also note that the GR Herald building, which would be built on the left side of the Livingston Hotel, is still the site of a house.








Kellogsville Hotel - on the old toll road



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


1924 - hotel on the toll road.
On Division.

2014 - at 147 52nd.


One of the few surviving toll road buildings that existed along Division avenue when it was a toll road, "paved" with planks. In 1870 the GR & I reached Grand Rapids, and the toll road was instantly obsolete.

GPS coordinates: 42.869752 -85.660363








Porter Block - later Herpolsheimer's



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


1937

1949


Herpolsheimer's replaced the Porter Block in 1949. The Porter Block, shown at the left in the left hand photo above, was a mix of street level shops and upper story professional offices, and was probably built in the 1870s. In year 2013 the Herp's building is the city police building.








Grand Rapids Herald building



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


Perhaps 1900

August 11, 1939

2013 aerial view


The image at the left, above, is a partial view of the house that occupied the land the GR Herald would later occupy. The Herald building in 1939, center. Note the shadow of the Grand Rapids Press building on the east side wall of the Herald building. The Livingston hotel was on the right side. In 1948 that would be replaced by the Davenport College building.

In year 2013 the location of the Herald building is a parking lot, as show above. On the southeast corner of Fulton and Division the Davenport building still remains.









Perry Building - 215 Lagrave



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


2010

2013

2013


Roughly 215 Lagrave Avenue SE. The house on the right, in the left hand photo, was quite old. The apartment building was perhaps 1920's in vintage.








Frank Rackett's house.



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


c1950

2013


Frank Rackett's house in about 1950, and the same location in year 2013. 3579 South Divsion Avenue.








Dime Store row.



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


Undated.

July 16, 1952

2013

2013

2013


Left, top row, above, is row of stores that would become dime store row, with Kresge's at the left end of the block, plus the three dime stores shown. The stores were located on Monroe, between Market and Pearl. In year 2013 the entire block is gone, to accommodate a park named for a person that never lived in Grand Rapids, and might not have even ever set foot in the city. Campau Square, a tribute to the town's founder, and at about the center of the city when it was incorporated in 1850, is now gone.

The largely straight line in the image at the right shows the extent of dime store row in the 1950s. The right end would have been Kresge's. At the left end would have been Woolworth's, which in year 2013 is law offices and other businesses. The wavy line shows where Market Street would have gone. The dashed line, now part of Monroe, did not exist. The entire construction is probably more political than based on any business decision. The parking lot surround the old McKay Tower is almost certainly a political move, generating a lot of income. In year 2013 it cost $12 to park for two hours, about the length of a business meeting, and $16 for the entire day, which few would do. Parking has been a political issue since at least 1930, when the Ellis dynasty, starting with a mayor Ellis, cornered much of the downtown parking business, and does to year 2014. The excessive cost is one reason many avoid the downtown area.








North Lafayette



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


October 2, 1946
770 Lafayette NE

June, 2013

June, 2013


A Sinclair station on 770 Lafayette NE. The building still exists in year 2013, but is boarded up. For what purpose is unclear.








Neland & Franklin



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


October 13, 1937
Neland & Franklin

2013


The building to the right of the station, in the northeast corner of Neland and Franklin, stands in year 2013. One can match the stone roof line. The house to the left also stands, but another house has been added. One can see the matching chimney in the older house.









Sinclair - 665 Wealthy



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


c1957

2013


In year 2013 the building, at 665 Wealthy Street SE, is the Donkey Mexican restaurant.








Division & Burton - SW corner.



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c1928

2013


Southwest corner of Division and Burton. The building has clearly undergone significant modification over the years, and only some ornamental stone work on the second floor strongly suggests that the building seen in year 2013 is the same basic building.








Wealthy & Lake Drive



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


c1925

2013


Grand Rapids Savings Bank, c1925, and the building in year 2013. Wealthy and Lake Drive.








Carrier Street & College Avenue.



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


c1917

2013


Above, left, Carrier Street & College Avenue, c1917. On the right, above, the same location in year 2013. Note along the bottom edge of the store are signs saying "We Give S&H Green Stamps."








Loyal order of Moose - Division & Cherry - NE corner.



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


1928

2013


Loyal order of Moose - NE corner - Division & Cherry








Market & Monroe - Kresge



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c1870

Widdicomb Building.

c1940


The northwest corner of Market and Division. Market was formerly Waterloo. In year 2014 the street is gone, Kresge's is gone, both as a building and a company, and the entire block between what was Market and Pearl is gone. In its place is Rosa Parks Square. Whose idea this was is not known at present.








Clarence Bigelow



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


1925 - 835 Cherry

835 Cherry - 2013


Above, left, Clarence Bigelow, owner and developer of Bigelow Field, standing in from of his house at 835 Cherry Street, about a block east of Eastern, in 1925. Above, right, the building at 835 Cherry Street in year 2013.








Stocking Theater



Left click on the images below for larger versions.


1930

2014


Bank building and Stocking Theater, 1930. In year 2014 the bank building is the Copper Top restaurant.








Jefferson & Fulton - SW corner.

Left click on the images below for larger versions.


Undated

June, 2011

Southwest corner, Jefferson and Fulton. The current structure is perhaps from the 1920's, but that's just a guess. Robinson Studios was located in the building at 7 Jefferson.








Jefferson, just south of Fulton. The Peck house.

Left click on the images below for larger versions.


About 1930

2015











Franklin & Division - 1948 & 2011



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c1948

August, 2011


Franklin Street and Division Avenue, looking north.








GR Medical College Building.



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2013


The old GR Medical College building, 220 S. Eastern Avenue. The building still exists in year 2013, although the exterior has been significantly modified.








Shipman Coal Co, 1209 Plainfield. As of June, 2015, it is the Choo Choo Grill.

Left click on the images below for larger versions.


1928

July, 2015