For generations of Western Michigan University students, the University Plaza complex at Howard and Michigan Streets in Kalamazoo was the closest off-campus shops to them.

Now that history is gone as the plaza met the wrecking ball and is just a pile of rubble.

The demolition took place in early June 2021 to make way for university expansion.

History of the University Plaza location

Many remember the northeast corner of Howard and Michigan being home to the legendary Galley Subs. (Those who still are looking for a Galley Sub fix need to high tail it to the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak where 2nd Street Sub Shop, started by a WMU alum was inspired by the Galley.)

The Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook group also remembers when a head shop, In Flight, and record store were tenants.

The most recent occupants of University Plaza were Two Fellas Grill, which hopped across the street to a vacant Wendy's while Campus Wok also crossed Michigan Avenue to the Grotto complex.

The best story on Vanished Kalamazoo from the old University Plaza location comes from the Galley Sub days and group member Lee Telfer:

In the late Summer of 1969, I took the Galley challenge and ate a 36" sub sandwich in 30 minutes, breaking the previous record. They took my picture and made a poster up of me as the new "champion" That lasted a couple of months before someone lowered the record to 15 minutes. My first day in English class at WMU, my professor called roll and recognized my name from the Galley poster. They were the best sub sandwiches!

Take that Man vs Food - Kalamazoo has been conquering food challenges for decades.

University Plaza Demolition and Through the Years

Check out photos of both the demolition of the building and some images of past tenants.

Demolition of University Plaza in Kalamazoo

In June 2021 University Plaza near the WMU Campus in Kalamazoo was demolished to make way for the college's expansion plans.

More to Explore - Vanished Brands and Chains

Why do we have a fascination with things we remember from our past that are no longer around? We certainly do and check out what we've lost and what you're sure to remember.

50 Famous Brands That No Longer Exist

Here are 50 of your favorite retail chains that no longer exist.