Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids Michigan

Grand Rapids, MI

Image of grand rapids Michigan business district

Grand Rapids is Michigan’s second-largest city, with roughly 192,000 people in the city and over a million people live in the Metro Grand Rapids area.
Grand Rapids is situated on the banks of the Grand River, which runs through the city. The Grand River and the rapids help the local furniture industry transport logs gave Grand Rapids its name. Flood walls were built in the river in the early 1900s to help manage flooding by removing the rapids. The Grand Rapids WhiteWater Project is currently underway, intending to restore the river and rapids.
The lakeshore communities of Holland, Muskegon, and Grand Haven are only 25 miles east of Grand Rapids.

History Of Grand Rapids Michigan

Picture of monument park in grand rapids Michigan
In 1826, Louis Campau, a French trader, established a trading post here. He wasn’t the first white settler in the area. Isaac McCoy, a Baptist minister, was the first. In 1825, he arrived. In 1831, Campau became the most important settler. He did this when he purchased what is now Grand Rapids’ entire downtown business district. He paid $90 to the federal government for it.
Grand Rapids was incorporated as a village in 1838. It was about three-quarters of a mile in size. In 1845, the first official census was conducted. This revealed a population of 1,510 people and a four-square-mile area. With a population of 2,686, the burgeoning community became a city in 1850. The city of Grand Rapids had grown to 10.5 square miles by 1857.
Grand Rapids rose to prominence as a global leader in the manufacture of fine furniture. After the international exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, this happened. Grand Rapids is still a powerhouse in office furniture manufacturing today.
Grand Rapids has a long history of being a leader. On the city’s west side, the country’s first hydro-electric plant began operations in 1881. In 1945, Grand Rapids was the first city in the US to add fluoride to its drinking water. Grand Rapids claims to have been the first city to offer scheduled air service. Also, they are the creators of the first publicly-funded art installation.
Grand Rapids had a population of 82,565 at the turn of the century. Grand Rapids residents voted to adopt a home rule charter in 1916. The old aldermanic systems were abolished as a result of this. A commission-manager system of government replaced it. This was one of the country’s first. Although it has been amended several times, the 1916 Charter remains in force.

Arts & Entertainment In Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids has long been a haven for artists and art lovers. They’re fine wood furniture’s artistry was known as “Furniture City” in the nineteenth century.

Art became an integral part of the city’s identity during the twentieth century, starting with a public project backed by the arts’ National Endowment.

And with ArtPrize, the world’s richest and most radically open art competition, Grand Rapids revolutionized the global art scene in this century.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the Top 30 Must-See Museums on the planet, is located in Grand Rapids and is one of the world’s top 100 most visited art museums.

Grand Rapids, MI Demographics

  • Estimated Population: 201,013
  • Population Under 18: 22.2%
  • Population Over 65: 12.1%
  • People Per Household: 2.53
  • ¬†Average Home Value: $143,000
  • Average Work Commute: 19.1 min

Public Education In Grand Rapids

Photo of art in grand rapids mi
Because of its robust local school system, Grand Rapids is regarded as one of the best American cities for raising a family. Downtown offers a diverse range of educational opportunities and learning environments, from nursery school to university. Grand Rapids Public Schools in West Michigan has the most diverse educational options. The city is also emerging as a national model for creating an urban school system that is fiscally responsible and produces strong academic results. The following universities are physically located in or close to the Downtown neighborhood.

  • Grand Rapids Community College
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Western Michigan University
  • Van Andel Institute
  • Western Michigan
  • University Thomas M.
  • Cooley Law School
  • Kendall College of Art and Design
  • Davenport University
  • Michigan State University
  • College of Human Medicine
  • Ferris State University

Grand Rapids’ Media Outlets

The Grand Rapids Press is the city’s daily paper, and Adance Newspaper publishes weekly articles. Gemini Publications is a regional publishing company that publishes the Grand Rapids Business Journal weekly newspaper, the magazines Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Family, Michigan Blue, and several other annual business-to-business publications.

In 2010, Nielsen Media Research ranked Grand Rapids, along with nearby Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, as the 41st largest television market in the United States. WWMT (CBS, actually licensed to Kalamazoo), WOOD (NBC), WZZM (ABC), and WXMI (ABC) are among the stations that serve the area (Fox).

Athletics In Grand Rapids, Michigan

Throughout the year, Grand Rapids is alive with team sporting events. Every May, the Amway River Bank Run, one of the top 25K sports events globally, attracts thousands of runners from all over the world to Grand Rapids. The city is also home to college and minor league sports teams, including:

  • Western Michigan Athletics- Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Etc.
  • Grand Rapids Griffins- An Affiliate Of The Detroit Redwings
  • Grand Rapids Drive- NBA Development Team Of The Detroit Pistons
  • Grand Rapids Football Club- Minor Leauge Soccer Team

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