Downtown Grand Rapids sure has come a long way. It was a West Michigan center for retail, enterprise and entertainment way back when. Then it fell into decay with age, retail moved out to shopping malls, and the streets "rolled up" in the evening. Then, things began to change again, 20 plus years ago, and now it's returned to a level of activity and excitement not seen for many years.

On the website, GR Retro, I found some really fascinating pictures of Grand Rapids "back in the day," and how it has changed today.

Can you pick out where these pictures from GR Retro were taken?

This is one of the most traveled streets in downtown. It was, back in the day, 1936, and is today. Where do you think this is?

gr retro


What about this, once, thriving business district. Back in 1952 it was a beehive of activity, but, alas, today, not so much.

gr retro


And, last, but not least as they say, this hot bed of activity in downtown in 1958. This stretch of downtown had lots of retail and some theaters, doctors and dentists, and more. All of it fell to the wrecking ball in the late 60's as part of the grand, urban renewal plan, and out of it came some pretty exciting places.

gr retro


Study the pictures hard. Does anything look familiar?

Wednesday.....I'll have the big reveal and we'll see if you figured them out.