History

Rowe Building History

Hotel Rowe was constructed in 1921 and opened in 1923

Fred N. Rowe, President of Adjacent Valley City Milling Co. raised $1.5 million needed to build the modern new “fire proof” hotel

Rowe Hotel was the fourth hotel to be erected on the lot. Before the Rowe, the NW corner of Michigan and Monroe was home to the Rasch Hotel, followed by the Clarendon Hotel and Charlevoix Hotel

Hotels stood on land known to early residents as Germantown, where there was once a colony of blacksmiths during the city’s pioneer days.

 

This photo on the right was taken on January 17th, 1950 – The Rowe Hotel’s coffee shop!

 

Now, you can visit Atwater Brewery located in The Rowe.You can see their website here!

You will love the charming look and feel of this brewery which has kept the true character of the building.

 

 

In the early 1960s, the Rowe was eyed for demolition during urban renewal redevelopment

Group affiliated with Fountain Street Church bought building in late 1950s to start a hostel for senior citizens

1963 building was purchased by American Baptist Home and Development Corp. with plans to convert it to a senior living facility. Was renamed Olds Manor in homage to automotive pioneer Ransom E. Olds

2001 – after Olds Manor changed hands several times, the building closed

2002 – Peter Secchia sells property for $4.5 million to Amway for future hotel use

2014 – CWD announces a $22 to $26 million dollar plan to convert property into mixed-use residential and retail building

Fun Fact: Before the interstate highways were built and most of the surrounding land was redeveloped during 1960s urban renewal, The Rowe stood beside two of the city’s widest thoroughfares in a part of downtown that was abuzz with foot traffic in and out of hotels, theaters, factories, warehouses and small retail shops. Some 30,000 people passed through the intersection daily on foot, according to a 1921 article in the Grand Rapids Progress, a business periodical.

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