History of Grand Rapids


1826 First trading post established
in the area


1836 First brewery built.


Blue Bridge

1842 The Westside was connected to the city by footbridge. The historic Blue Bridge was built in 1886.

Campus scenics at Grand Rapids Community College week of 9/17/2018. Photos by Steve Jessmore/Steve Jessmore Photography

1914 Grand Rapids Community College was founded, the first community college in Michigan.


1911 Aquinas opened its doors in Grand Rapids, transferring from Traverse City.

logo gr

1850 Grand Rapids became a city.


1981 Amway Grand Plaza opened after extensive renovations to the 1913 Pantlind Hotel building, including the addition of a 29-story glass tower.


1996 Van Andel Institute was founded, which was the beginning of Medical Mile.


1997 Canal Street Brewing opened (later renamed Founders Brewing Company).

Bridge St Market

2018 Bridge Street Market opened, which was catalyst for the development along Bridge Street.

May 1, 2008

2008 The Fulton Group was founded.


2003 Cook-DeVos Center for Health (GVSU) opened.