I woke up early and decided to do a little wandering around the streets of Grand Rapids before the rush hour crunch hit the city. Now that I see the city in daylight (and after a good nights sleep) I could see that Grand Rapids is a really charming place. The buildings have quite a bit of character and it’s almost as though the area we were staying in was a preserved moment in time.
At some point in my wanderings I realized that Grand Rapids probably didn’t have a rush hour — my first clue was a suspicious lack of people walking around. I talked to a smiley man cleaning the sidewalk for a while; he was very concerned about getting leaves on my shoes and wanted me to have a good day. I also saw some coffee shops that I wish I had known about earlier; then I would have had breakfast in one of these instead of the horrible little restaurant in our hotel.
Our day consisted of marathon meetings that ran from 9 until 4 at the Acton Institute offices. The Acton office is in the Waters Building on the Northwest corner of Ottawa and Pearl. The building was built in 1899 by Dudley Waters and Philip Klingman and was one of the US’ largest furniture exhibition buildings. It has since been converted into office space but still has many of the fabulous woodwork inside and even an old chandelier or two.
After a day of meetings we rushed back to the airport for another city to city jump. I had just enough time to have my photo taken with President Gerald Ford who was raised in Grand Rapids.