The Rapidian

Glance at the Past

Glance at the Past is a local history radio project presented by Grand Rapids Historical Commission and the Grand Rapids Community Media Center. It's written and voiced by award-winning local historian Diana Barrett.

Glance at the Past - Michigan Trust Building

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Located at the corner of Ottawa and Pearl, the Michigan Trust building was the tallest in the city/state and the first in Grand Rapids to be solely used for offices. It was completed in 1892, in the style of H. H. Richardson.

Glance at the Past - Civic Auditorium

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Grand Rapids built the Civic Auditorium in 1932 which provided work for the unemployed during the midst of the Great Depression.

Glance at the Past - Fire Bell

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Learn the story of the fire bell, now standing in front of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, which originally called the city's volunteer firefighters for its first ten years and has had several homes since created in 1878.

Glance at the Past - Pioneer doctor

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Listen to this two minute audio recording detailing some of the trials doctors endured making house visits in the early years in Grand Rapids.

Glance at the Past - Early artists

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A two minute audio glimpse into the first professional artists in Grand Rapids, detailing not only their successes but their competition as well.

Glance at the Past - Bridge Banquet

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When the soldiers returned from the south in 1865, Grand Rapids hosted a "welcome home" banquet for them on the only space long enough for a table to hold them all: the Pearl Street Bridge.

Glance at the Past - Parks and Playgrounds

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Did you know about the Playground Association here in Grand Rapids, and the role it played with our parks and playgrounds? Listen to this two minute audio piece to find out more.

Glance at the Past - Pottery Works

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Beginning in 1876, many homes in Grand Rapids planted their flowers in hand made pots created by John Lipzinski.

Glance at the Past - McGeorge Bundy

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Glance at the Past is a two minute exploration of local history. This week we learn about prominent citizen McGeorge Bundy, and find out how he got his unique name.

Glance at the Past - Raising Canal Street

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The first S-Curve was not on 131, but at Canal Street and Pearl in downtown Grand Rapids.

Glance at the Past - Prohibition

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[AUDIO] Grand Rapids tried to keep alcohol out of the city, but with 58 saloons and five breweries, it was impossible.

Glance at the Past - Cigars

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Glance at the Past - Cigars

Glance at the Past - Wealthy Theatre

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2011 sees the Weathy Theatre celebrate its 100th Anniversary - listen to an audio story about it's history!

Glance at the Past - Gerald R. Ford

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Glance at the Past - Episode 70: A brief history of "Grand Rapids' favorite son," Gerald R. Ford.

Glance at the Past - First Woman Doctor

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The 1870s favored the growing population of women doctors. Frances Armstrong Rutherford was among the first in Grand Rapids.

Glance at the Past - Apple Smorgasbord

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The first Apple Smorgasbord was held in 1951 to build community among its members.

Glance at the Past - Electric Light Baths

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1903, the Electric Light Bath made it's first appearance in Grand Rapids

Glance at the Past - Deadly Diseases

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Secretary Wilson's 1898 Board of Health report summarizes the types of diseases and number of deaths among Grand Rapids populace.

Glance at the Past - Chinese Restaurants

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This episode shares the story of Chan Hoy and his quest to bring Chinese food to Grand Rapids for the first time ever in 1902.

Glance at the Past - Ryerson Public Library

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Glance at the Past - Episode 78

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