Text: Brenna Buckwald
As Grand Rapids, Michigan continues to draw visitors with its growing number of stage productions, museums, and restaurants, hotels in the city are investing in their own growth as well.
One of Grand Rapids’ most historic hotels, with an initial construction dating back to the 1900s, has recently invested in $40 million in updating its tower facade. Beginning in January of 2019, Rockford Construction in Grand Rapids has been working with the hotel to replace the glass on the exterior of the tower with a clear, insulated glass material. The goal of the renovation is for the hotel to become more energy efficient, and modernize the appearance of the tower from the street, which will appear silver or gray in color. For even more expansive views of the city from individual rooms, floor-to-ceiling glass will also be featured.
Between the 29-story Glass Tower and restored Pantlind Wing, the Amway Grand Plaza offers more than 680 rooms ranging in historic to contemporary. The hotel also houses several dining destinations within its walls and has more than 47,000 square-feet of meeting space, four ballrooms, and 42 conference areas.
Built in 1913, the Amway Grand Plaza reopened in 1916 as the Pantlind Hotel after J. Boyd Pantlind purchased the hotel and invested in its renovation. Designers Warren and Wetmore created a visual experience in the interior inspired after English Adams architecture; one of the most notable design aspects being one of the world’s largest gold-leaf ceilings. In the early 1980s, the Amway Corporation acquired the Pantlind, carefully restored the historical building, and added the Glass Tower addition in 1983.
The Amway Grand Plaza balances the historic elegance of the original Pantlind hotel, keeping many nods to the luxurious ambience and historical design that the original hotel had throughout the interior, as well as complementing it with the more contemporary tower.