Friday, January 7, 2011

Kramer Building

I just love this building 922 Wealthy SE. Called the Kramer Building it was built in the 1930's in Grand Rapids as a hupmobile dealership. The design is very elegant and the brickwork very attractive. These days in the era of mega car dealerships, it is hard to imagine this beautiful little building as an auto showroom.

There is some original advertising on the building which cannot be removed due to the historic nature of it - you can see this auto-related "advertising" the photo. Also, the brick on the front of the building is inscribed with the name KRAMER.

The hupmobile was originally developed by Robert Craig Hupp who was born in Grand Rapids in 1887.

According to Wikipedia:
The Hupmobile was an automobile built from 1909 through 1940 by the Hupp Motor Company, which was located at 345 Bellevue Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Its first car, the Model 20, was introduced to the public at the Detroit Auto Show in February 1909. The company initially produced 500 vehicles.
Robert Craig Hupp (June 2, 1877 in Grand Rapids, Michigan – 1931), a former employee of Oldsmobile and Ford, founded the company with his brother Louis Gorham Hupp (November 13, 1872 in Michigan – December 10, 1961 in Michigan) in 1908.

Fast Forward
In 2005, developers built a large addition the West of the original structure to make the building more viable for mixed use. As of a few months ago, the Kramer Building is now in use again. It is a cheery site to see furniture and activity in the building.

Cool Garage in the Back

It was the end of a little dream I had of having a studio in the building and my husband using the cool old garage behind the building to restore his vintage airstreams.

The Old Brick Street is Repaired
Another cool thing happened in 2005. The old brick paving on sections of Wealthy Street was repaired. This and a great deal of vintage charm and ambience to the Wealthy Street Theatre district.

Wealthy Street has become a "destination"
The renovation and repurposing of the Kramer Building is part of an exciting renaissance on Wealthy Street. Wealthy Street has become a destination with good restaurants, bars and shops. Any lunch time or evening of the week finding a parking spot on certain sections of Wealthy Street is a challenge but a challenge that is welcome, especially if you value the history and architecture of Grand Rapids.

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