1969 GRAND RAPIDS CITY HALL AND KENT COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
The International style 10-story Grand Rapids City Hall, and 3-story Kent County Administration Building, are modern steel structures clad in brown Canadian granite and bronze, is set back from the street on Vandenberg Center’s raised concrete plaza. Symmetrical, dark and rectangular, they share the plaza with the bright red Calder stabile “La Grand Vitesse,” and overlook the mid-century banks and commercial buildings constructed during 1960’s urban renewal. The smaller building, the County Administration Building has a very unique roof.
The firm of Skidmore, Owens & Merrill were architects for the project. Local architects were O'Bryon & Knapp and then Obryon & Natchtegal when Knapp left to work for Daverman Associates in Madison, Wisconsin.
After it was completed, Alexander Calder agreed to cover it with an already completed Calder painting. Because the Calder rooftop painting can only be viewed from one of the adjacent buildings such as the Fifth Third Bank Building or across the street from the courthouse, this iconic painting somewhat unknown to much of the population.