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Pantlind Ballroom at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

As the population of Grand Rapids skyrocketed during the early twentieth century, grandiose buildings began springing up in the city's downtown. One of those striking structures was the Pantlind Hotel, built in 1913, which featured one of the largest 24-karat-gold-leaf ceilings in the world. By the mid-1920s, the Mediterranean-style hotel was considered one of the best in America.

Following its purchase by the Amway Corporation in 1979, the Pantlind Hotel was extensively renovated to incorporate the addition of a 29-story, 318-foot-tall tower and renamed the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Completed in 1983, the world class hotel remains among the tallest buildings in Grand Rapids.

While much of the Pantlind building was reconditioned and modernized during the renovation process, one chief element that has remained largely unaltered is the classical elegance of the Pantlind Ballroom, seen in both photos. For nearly a century now, the European-style ballroom--along with that gold-leaf ceiling--has charmed visitors to Grand Rapids during cocktail parties, political and philanthropic events, and wedding receptions.

Caption: ("Then" photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Library, Robinson Photographic Studio Collection, Collection 125. "Now" photo courtesy of Dan Ham.)

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.

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Title Annotation:THEN & NOW
Publication:Michigan History Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Mar 1, 2019
Previous Article:James Oliver Curwood.

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