Would the 1990 You Even Recognize This As Downtown Kalamazoo?
It took me a little bit to figure out what I was looking at. I guess that's where living here for over 35 years is both good and bad. I've gotten used to the way Kalamazoo has looked because it's been that way for so long. The photo above does remind us just how much has changed recently (as in the past decade).
The growth is impressive. To the right of the roundabout at Gull Street and Ransom is a new high-rise residential building. And that's just one of several in the two to three block area. There's also a building that went up across the street from the century-old Louie's. And another caddy-corner from it that is also home the gourmet restaurant, Elysium.
And as you drive on Ransom Street to turn onto Pitcher, that new 180 Water Street Building does get your attention, too.
But maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves. The original question was would your 1990 self recognize this? The 1990's was just the beginning of the renaissance of that part of Kalamazoo Ave. Shakespeare's was a shutdown fishing reel manufacturer. It didn't open as a bar until the early part of the new century (2003). Bell's Eccentric Cafe was just getting started in the 1990's. Old Dog was closer to its Star Paper Company past than its current status. Hop Cat, that's recent.
And in 1990, the Arcadia Creek Festival Site was a parking lot and the creek portion, that wasn't prettied up yet.
With the impending change to two-way traffic, Kalamazoo Avenue will more resemble its 1950's self than 1990. It'll be interesting how things change in the next 30 years.