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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Demolition of Iroquois Middle School , Front Entrance Detail

Demolition of Iroquois Middle School , Front Entrance Detail

GRHC - 2009

A close-up of architectural details expressing Indian themes still in place are juxtaposed to areas where they have been removed. At center left a steel beam embedded in concrete which holds the architectural pieces, and that construction suggests that the original architect and builder did not foresee that the building would be removed.


Full Details

TitleDemolition of Iroquois Middle School , Front Entrance Detail
Current Address1050 Iroquois Dr. SE
ArchitectHenry H. Turner
Date Constructed1924-25
Original OwnerGrand Rapids Public Schools
Original UsePublic school
NeighborhoodOttawa Hills

Title by cataloger.
Excerpted from A Brief History of Ottawa Hills High School, 1925-1957, By Mable C. Tenhaaf - English Teacher. "To carry out the Indian theme suggested by the name of the school, designs taken from Indian pottery, blankets, and rugs were used in a border about the main entrance, and directly above the door was an Indian head, which was later adopted as the symbol of the school."
The site manager explained that careful drilling to remove the architectural pieces sets up vibrations in the steel beam shown in the close-up. The vibrations lead to cracking of the surface artwork. Salvaging the details has been expensive and time consuming.
Iroquois Middle School, the original Ottawa Hills High School, closed in 2005. In December of 2008 it was purchased by the Grand Rapids Christian Schools.

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