THE ECLECTIC STYLE OF GRAND RAPIDS CENTRAL CITY CHURCHES
First Methodist Church on East Fulton designed by Robinson & Campua. Completed in 1916 in Norrman Gothic tradition, the church features a stone facade, beautiful arched windows and rose window. Its neighbor, First Place, is a modern concrete building in the Brutalist tradition, makes a perfect statement about the wonderful eclectic nature of our downtown architecture.
First Place was once a downtown office building but is now a part of First United Methodist Church, its neighbor. Architect unknown.
1876, John Gradyand 1901 Ernest Brielmaier & Sons, Milwaukee architects, 267 Sheldon. Dramatic twin spires with renaissance style plaza.
1960 LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church at 107 LaGrave Avenue SE, south of Fulton but in the heart of the central city, was designed in the mid-century modern period by Daverman Associates. This church has a narrow light colored brick facade and dramatic steeple with slender spire.
1893 Central Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sheldon is a rare example of Richardson Romanesque architecture with restored Byzantine interior feature. It began as the All-Souls Universalist Church designed by William Robinson.
1916 Bethel Christian Reformed Church has an unusual Moorish/Art Deco design that has survived intact with the main exterior change being a complimentary addition. Designed by Thomas Benjamin and Son in 1916, the church is located in the Grandville Avenue area at 728 Shamrock SW.
1890 Immanuel Lutheran Church was designed by William G. Robinson. It stands at the corner of Michigan Street NE and North Division at the entrance to the I-196 Freeway, and is the lone representative of Grand Rapids early architectural history.
1925 St. George Antiochian Church designed by James Price at 334 La Grave Avenue SE.
1882 Temple Emanuel, designed by David Hopkins, on Ransom had original Tiffany windows that they moved to the new modern building when they moved to the structure designed by Erich Mendelsohn on East Fulton. This building is now Spectrum Theatre.
1876 Westminster Presbyterian has a delicate Gothic design with a slender soaring spire and was designed by Sydney Osgood and David Hopkins. It is neighbor to the rich red sturdy brick of the Grand Rapids First Fire Station across the street.
1871 St. Mark's Episcopal Church designed by David Hopkins with additional work by A.W. Rush & Sons, 1893 and Christian Verheilig 1904 and 1916.
10 E. PARK PLACE NE: First (Park) Congregational Church by various architects beginning with Architects David S. Hopkins and Sidney J. Osgood who may have collaborated on the early English Gothic style design. The congregation was launched in 1836 by 22 early Grand Rapids pioneers. Building construction began constructed in 1867. . Hopkins signature is seen in the crenelated tower still a part of the historic structure. The Tiffany style windows were installed between 1904 and 1938. In 1912, the steeple was replaced by a bell tower, and in 1917, the parish house was added for recreation space. A 90-seat chapel and office space were added in 1954 along Library Street, and a church school wing was added on the south, as well as the current bell tower. TODAY: Much of the early church is intact and the building has remained in the hands of the original congregation. Recently the early windows were authentically restored.
1872 St. James, a Gothic style Catholic Church was designed by John Grady and William G. Robinson, is just west of the Grand River on Bridge Street near the Westside Branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Gathered at the River: Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Its People of Faith by James D. Bratt and Christopher H. Meehan, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993.
"Hedging their Bets," by Richard Harms, Grand Rapids Magazine, July 1993.