JAMES BRONKEMA, GRAND RAPIDS BUILDER-DESIGNER FROM POST-WORLD WAR II TO 1961
Text and Photos by Pam VanderPloeg Copyright 2018 unless otherwise noted.
Building shown above is a glass and brick midcentury commercial building designed and built by James Bronkema in the 1950’s.
There is so much to be written about James Bronkema and much more will follow. Bronkema was a remarkable builder-designer who made his mark on Grand Rapids architectural landscape from 1946 - 1961 when he moved on to build buildings in Florida and then start a whole new career managing the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. He lived a long and vital life and retired to Palm Springs, the epic center of desert modern architecture. However here is a start at telling the story of this beginning with one of his commercial buildings on Cherry.