In July 2016 Tour GR had the honor to guide a two-hour walk through downtown Grand Rapids to nearly two-dozen students through the UICA ArtWorks Program at the invitation of Community Programs Coordinator, Katherine Elizabeth. The focus of the discussion was about urban renewal and the layers of change an area went through and is still going through. We talked about the possible changes coming to Calder Plaza and community involvement. Our tour commenced along the Grand River at Lyon Square to discuss how the focus of the river has changed from a mode of transportation and source of food, to a source of power, and finally to respect it for the natural resource we have as a community. Read More >>>
ArtWorks is an extension of NEA, National Endowment for The Arts program.
Community Clients & Partners: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
Women’s Lifestyle Magazine article by Kerri VanderHoff • photo by Two Eagles Marcus
Being February and Black History Month, I thought it was a good time to reflect on and share a conversation that occurred last summer.
As I worked on pilot programming for the new downtown information center, the GoSite, one of the program options included walking tours of Grand Rapids. These tours focused mainly on architecture, allowing the historic old buildings to be a catalyst for storytelling of significant people and events from days gone by. A very knowledgeable local historian, Jim Winslow of TourGR, led the group that day. Read More >>>
The Rapidian article and photo by Eric Tank
Grand Rapidian Jim Winslow is moving forward with his startup Tour GR by gleaning stories from the area's past, offering guided tours of historic landmarks.
Meet Jim Winslow, local graphic designer, photographer and history enthusiast. For the past three years he has been leading walking tours throughout the city and just this past June he launched Tour GR. Since then, he has done as many as 60 tours, many during the 19 day course of ArtPrize at the Morton House where the award winning Site:Lab exhibited.
"I've always had a love of history, Grand Rapids history. My family has been here almost 180 years, since the 1840's. So that got me interested and involved in research," says Winslow. Read More >>>
The Rapidian article by Eric Tank
On Wednesday, November 12, join fellow photogs, novice and pro, in The Rapidian's Fall Photo Walk, then warm up while you support The Rapidian at our Night Out at the Cottage Bar.
On Wednesday, November 12, we've got a full night planned for our Rapidian community.
Right at 5 p.m., we invite you to come along on a color tour and architectural photowalk through Heritage Hill. Our walk will be lead by Tour GR guide and photography enthusiast Jim Winslow. The walk kicks off the new Picturesque gallery, "Ch-ch-changes," with submissions open to anyone for a full month. Read More >>>
Rapid Growth article by Gsync Tommy Allen. photo by Jim Winslow
One of the area's oldest Catholic cemeteries was established in 1853 but has been placed under a lock, forever gated until a keymaster appears. One man who has a key to unlock this sacred space during a season associated with ghosts and mystical mishaps of nature's dark side will share tales of our city's earliest members interred there. See the final resting place of those big names that typically adorn our oldest buildings, street signs, and the occasional antique store discovery, including the Campau, Hake, Kortlander, and Clancy families.
Tour GR guests will learn the true story of the Old Iron Cross and Little Sisters of the Poor. As the skies darken, tourists of the cemetery will migrate to the comfortable refuge of the chapel and mausoleum of Father Patrick McManus. Read More >>>
Rapid Growth article by Gsync Tommy Allen. photo courtesy Grand Rapids Public Library Collection
When I sat down with Rick DeVos a few days before the world would learn of ArtPrize for the first time, I asked him if he imagined more from this event. I was happy to learn that, beyond the economic activity (which no one could have predicted would be so big), he hoped ArtPrize would encourage other kinds of growth as well, especially collaborations that go beyond the art installations. One area that was still lacking until recently was the creative third-party, "the other," who could take advantage of the festival's shadow over our region. Read More >>>
Rapid Growth article by Gsync Tommy Allen
The future of our city will be meaningless if we forget the past. Nowhere in our city is the mission to recall our history given more importance than the Grand Rapids Historical Society — a society which hosts an ongoing lecture series featuring individuals from our community who have researched a topic and created a presentation for the public.
While the topics are diverse in scope, the GRHS has touched on subjects ranging from our vanished train stations to famous mug shots, and occasionally gives attention to informative place-making activities like how to research your own home’s history.
This month’s lecture, “Powers Theater: A Century of Entertaining Grand Rapids” will explore the years 1873–1979, when the Powers’ Opera House/Midtown Theatre existed in our city. It was completely destroyed twice by fire but always rose like the phoenix until finally it was demolished to create a parking lot in 1979. Read More >>>
MLive article by Garret Ellison and guest column by Jim Winslow. photos courtesy Grand Rapids Public Library and Jim Winslow
Jim Winslow, a sixth generation Grand Rapidian, will join other area history sleuths this Saturday at the Grand Rapids Public Library main branch for the third annual History Detectives program.
The daylong event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes presentations on West Michigan history as researched by local residents who were compelled for various reasons to take a deeper look into the past.
The event includes presentations on life in Grand Rapids before the Standard Time Act of 1918, the beginning of the state's tourism industry, the legacy of John Ball Park, an African American barbershop in the 1950s, a look at early female influence in Michigan politics and an examination of John Ball's friends and family in relation to the early furniture industry.
History Detectives is about the journey as well as the destination. What began as basic genealogical research 20-some years ago aimed at solving gnawing family mysteries ended up becoming a historical search into the business of early Grand Rapids.
My research really got started with a mystery surrounding the two children represented on the John Ball statue at John Ball Park. I had always heard they were cousins of mine but no one living knew just how. The children were of the Powers family, but they were also of the Ball family. How could this be? Where was the connection? Read More >>>