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Vandenberg Center

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City-County Administration Buildings
1966–1968, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and O'Bryon and Nachtegall. 300 Monroe Ave. NW
  • Vandenberg Center (City-County Administration Buildings) (Roger Funk)

Standing on a raised, monumental plaza over a subgrade parking structure, this International Style government complex consists of the ten-story City of Grand Rapids administration building and the low, broad, three-story County of Kent administration building. Although considerably different in mass and proportion, they are unified by the overall symmetry, rectangular massing, and rectangular patterns of their Miesian design. The first floor of the city building is recessed behind the outer piers of the structure and the glass wall of the county building is recessed behind the structural system. The steel frames are clothed in brown Canadian granite and bronze-tinted glass. The centerpiece of the plaza—indeed, the logo of the city—is Alexander Calder's bright orange-red steel stabile La Grand Vitesse, installed in 1969. A Calder-created design was painted on the rooftop of the county building in 1974.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Vandenberg Center", [Grand Rapids, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 244-245.

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