Nestled amongst the stunning wilds of West Michigan, Grand Rapids represents the second-largest city in the state and ever since our origin we’ve had plenty to offer. Over the years, we’ve taken massive strides to better ourselves, our communities and our state.
Kick your feet up, grab a drink of your choice (may I suggest one of Grand Rapids’ many craft brews?) and take a moment to learn a bit more about the history of the town many of us are proud to call home.
A leader in Michigan and beyond
In 1945 Grand Rapids led the nation in its efforts to combat tooth decay when it became the first city to add fluoride to its drinking water. A health achievement that swiftly became the mainstay of many other cities in the following years.
Notable also for being the childhood home and resting place of Gerald Ford, a historic center of furniture manufacturing since the late 19th century and having more recently been dubbed “Beer City,” Grand Rapids has proven itself time and time again to be a city worth watching.
These streets have stories
Our city center and surrounding areas are known for striking historic buildings such as The McKay Tower, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, The Exhibitors Building and The Willard Building. We are also home to an exquisitely designed house from architectural great, Frank Lloyd Wright.
With an ever-bustling business community, rich manufacturing sector and thriving food and entertainment culture, Grand Rapids rings true to its City Seal, which bears the Latin words “Motu Viget,” meaning “Strength in Activity.” We’re all about work hard, play hard and always have been.
Taste for art? We’ve got a smorgasbord
With professional performance companies ranging from The Grand Rapids Ballet established in 1971 to Opera Grand Rapids which found its roots in the late 1950’s to 1960’s, we know a thing or two about cultivating local talent. Since then, we’ve grown to having two art museums of our own and gained global recognition for ArtPrize, a biennial art competition established in 2009 that stretches across the city in inspiring and unexpected iterations.
A city rich in history and one that is constantly rewriting its present and future for the better, Grand Rapids is a vibrant place with plenty to see and do. Reach out to us to learn more about Grand Rapids, why you should swing by for a visit and maybe even come to call our Grand city home.