PHOTOS: A Walking Tour of Downtown Grand Rapids, MI

La Grande Vitesse, a public sculpture by American artist Alexander Calder, is located on the large concrete plaza surrounding City Hall. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

The AmericaJR Web Team visited downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan last week. It is on the Grand River about 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. Grand Rapids is home to five of the world’s leading office furniture companies, and is nicknamed “Furniture City”. Other nicknames include “River City” and more recently, “Beer City” (the latter given by USA Today and adopted by the city as a brand). The city and surrounding communities are economically diverse, based in the health care, information technology, automotive, aviation, and consumer goods manufacturing industries, among others. Grand Rapids is the childhood home of U.S. President Gerald Ford, who is buried with his wife Betty on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in the city.

Grand Rapids, Michigan is about 150 miles west of Detroit and is 180 miles northwest of Chicago. For more information, go to