The Rapidian Home

Design architects to share stories of Old Federal Building's transformations

[CANCELLED] The Old Federal Building at pearl and Division has had many purposes over the years. A free presentation from the Grand Rapids Historical Society will

Attend the event

Federal Building to W.N. Ferris Building

Renewal and Reconstruction

By Thomas R. Mathison and Gene Hopkins

Co-sponsored by the Kendall College of Art & Design

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 7:00 p.m. at the “Old Fed” Building

RSVP on their Facebook event

About the Grand Rapids Historical Society

Established in 1894, the Grand Rapids Historical Society is dedicated to exploring the history of West Michigan; to discover its romance and tragedy, its heroes and scoundrels, its leaders and its ordinary citizens.


From Historical Society member Jim Winslow: "CANCELLED: Due to the possibility of inclement weather and bitter cold this program 'Federal Building to Woodbridge N. Ferris Building — Renewal and Reconnection' is canceled tonight. We'll do our best to get this program rescheduled later in the year. Thank you for understanding. Be warm and safe everyone."

When’s the last time you were inside the Old Federal Building? Was it during a long-ago GRAM Friday night wine, cheese and jazz event for singles? During a school trip to the Egyptian exhibit? When it was “The Hub” in the early days of ArtPrize?

In 2010, the building was added to the Kendall College campus and its complete restoration was finished just two years later.

Entire floors that had been closed, windows that were shuttered for decades and water-damaged flooring – have all been refurbished and restored, following LEED guidelines. The effort was made possible in part by the State’s Enhanced Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Now its beautiful bones are visible again – and you’re invited to Thursday’s presentation by Thomas R. Mathison and Gene Hopkins, design architects for the renovation. They’ll review the building’s history, from 1909 to the 2012 restoration project.

This is one of eight 2014-2015 presentations by the Grand Rapids Historical Society, which are co-sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

The presentation begins at 7 p.m., in the Old Federal Building itself. Parking is free, on the street or in the lot across Pearl.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.