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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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City Hall

City Hall

GRHC - January 25th, 2012

It took many years for Grand Rapids to acquire a suitable City Hall.



Grand Rapids spent thirty-four years acquiring a City Hall. As early as 1854 various locations were deemed acceptable, but over the years nothing concrete transpired.  Finally, plans were invited for a building 60 by 90 feet, not to exceed a cost of  $60,000. Plans by Charles H. Marsh of Rochester NY were adopted in 1874, and Marsh prepared to settle in the metropolis of the Grand River Valley.

His plans with estimates were submitted to the Common Council, and there the matter rested until January of 1879 when Mayor Smith recommended constructing a building costing no more than $20,000.

Meanwhile, Mr. Marsh had moved on to greener pastures in Detroit where he designed, among other things, the Washtenaw County Courthouse. New City Hall plans were submitted, but nothing happened. Again the subject was proposed in 1880 and again in 1881 without result.

In 1883, the Council declared the construction of a City Hall a necessary public improvement. A proposition was submitted to the voters to authorize a loan of $100,000 for the costs. Six architects were invited to submit plans, and on October 21, 1884 the Board of Public works unanimously adopted the plans of E.E. Myers of Detroit. The construction contract was for $185,641.68. The cornerstone was laid in September of 1885, and on September 26, 1888 the completed City Hall, at Ottawa and Lyon, was finally dedicated.


Full Details

TitleCity Hall
KeywordsGlance at the Past; radio; Grand Rapids; Michigan; City Hall; history; Historical Commission; WYCE; Elijah E. Meyers
Pubdate StringJanuary 25th, 2012

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