A Trip Back in Grand Rapids Time!
Here's a great blast from the past history lesson of Grand Rapids.
Do you recognize this spot?
It's1906, and this is the iconic Bridge Street bridge that has been a major conduit between downtown Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids' west side for more than 117 years.
The original old bridge, not the one above, was the first for vehicles to cross the Grand River in Grand Rapids and was a timber and plank old bridge on a stone foundation built in 1845.
A wrought iron bridge was built in 1884, just like this old Ann Street bridge.
But again, it needed to be replaced in 1906, so a bigger concrete bridge was built.
It carried tons of traffic, both cars and trucks and pedestrians. It even had a public restroom for those in need.
Flash forward 50 years to 1956 -- check out the growth. Remember Sullivan's?
But, by 1979 the old 1906 bridge had outlived its usefulness and needed to be replaced, and that's when the bridge we know today, was built.
Flash forward another 50 or so years and this is the same view. Awesome, huh?
Building the bridge sure connected the west side to the east side of Grand Rapids, and boy did the west side grow.
Anyone remember Bob Sullivan's Bavarian Inn?
It was THE drinking and entertainment place across the river. My oh my, if those old walls could talk! It was a hot place in its day.
Bridge Street today has now become a hot spot for dining and entertainment.
And with the Bridge Street Market opening in the last 2010s --
followed by new apartments and condos, the Bridge Street west side has become one of the best places to be in Grand Rapids.
And to think -- it all started with a bridge!
MORE: Some Fun Photos From Michigan's Past