One City Corner
May 8th, 2013
In October of 2007 the Grand Rapids Art Museum opened its new building, ninety-seven years after its founding in 1910. It occupies the same corner where 157 years earlier William Preusser began his jewelry and clock business.
William Preusser, in 1850, started a jewelry, clock, and watch-making business in a wooden building at the SW corner of Monroe and Ottawa. Preusser received $10 a year rent for the cellar at the rear of the building for housing two pumpers belonging to the volunteer fire companies.
The Luce Block, a four-story brick building, occupied the corner from 1856 until 1901 when early in the morning the building collapsed. About two months earlier the city had issued a remodeling permit for the building. The first thing the contractors did was remove a thirty-foot supporting wall running east and west and another that ran north and south; they were replaced with temporary wooden beams. On July 18th the night watchman, alerted by loud cracking noises, realized the building was collapsing; a fire, ignited by a broken gas pipe, destroyed the entire structure.
Herpolsheimer’s Department Store, formerly at Monroe and Ionia, built new quarters on the site of the former Luce Block. It remained there until 1949 when a modern building was constructed at the corner of Monroe and Division. In 1951, Wurzburg’s Department Store occupied the former Herpolsheimer building, moving from its ninety-seven year location on Lower Monroe.
In October of 2007 the Grand Rapids Art Museum opened its new building, ninety-seven years after its founding in 1910. It occupies the same corner where William Preusser began 157 years earlier.
|Title||One City Corner|
|Keywords||WYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; Art Museum; William Preusser|
|Pubdate String||May 8th, 2013|