“Pillars Of The Community”

July 17th from 5pm - 6:30pm

All are welcome to join TUG co-founder Dan Klyn and attendees from TUG’s July Workshop Series for “Pillars Of The Community,” a guided walk through the historic Cherry Hill Historic District of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The title for our excursion is, of course, a play on words: highlighting the singular focus of this slow-paced, photography-friendly walk down Cherry Street. For about an hour, we’ll look at some buildings, and formulate naive hypotheses about the form and function of pillars, posts, pilasters, and as many other “members” of the built environment that bear weight, and hold things up, as we find interesting.


This walk begins at the beginning of the 20th century, with one of the best examples of neoclassical architectural styling in our city. It ends in the middle of the 20th century, with three terrific works of mid-century modernism that—in many ways—stand as a counter argument against historical precedents like those we began with, and will observe in a chronologically haphazard series of buildings in between.

In these in-betweens we’ll see examples of Greek revival, Dutch colonial, Richardsonian Romanesque, Tudor, and Queen Anne styling and construction. All along the way, we’ll be asking ourselves: why did they do it that way? How did the forces in the environment, and the forces of commerce, and the forces of culture, combine to make the buildings we see and use today?

This architecture walk is being planned as a special treat for attendees of TUG’s July Workshop Series, but all are welcome to attend. There is no fee for participation, and the course of the walk from beginning to end is just over 1 mile in distance. There is free parking behind TUG’s office at 822 Cherry, and it is likely we will stop for a Faygo soda along the way at the newly-renovated The Commons, so bring a few bucks if you’re so inclined.