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Inner City Christian Federation (D. A. Blodgett Building)

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D. A. Blodgett Building
1908, Asbury W. Buckley; 2006–2007 restoration, Cornerstone Architects. 920 Cherry St. SE

The three-story neoclassical structure was built as an orphanage with a gift from Delos A. Blodgett. Blodgett engaged Buckley of Chicago, who had planned his cottage on Mackinac Island by 1894 as well as other summer cottages on the island, to design the fireproof brick building. Buckley was a talented carpenter-builder who elevated himself to architect after moving from Coldwater and Kalamazoo to Chicago.

In 1948 the D. A. Blodgett Building was given to the Mary Free Bed Guild and, until 1976, used for rehabilitative medicine and long-term residential care for children with polio. Since then alterations, additions, and lack of maintenance led to a deterioration that verged on a call for demolition. Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) purchased the building in 2005, and, in 2006, undertook a remarkable restoration and renovation. The Corinthian-columned porch removed with a thoughtless 1950s addition was rebuilt; terra-cotta columns, cornice, and trim replicated and restored; interior terrazzo floor, cast-iron stairwells, white oak woodwork, and plaster cove ceilings restored; and landscape renewed—all for the headquarters of the ICCF, a nonprofit housing corporation, and for the sake of improving the Grand Rapids cityscape. In 2009 the U.S. Green Building Council awarded ICCF a LEED Gold Certification for the project.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert
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Citation

Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Inner City Christian Federation (D. A. Blodgett Building)", [Grand Rapids, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MI-01-KT38.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 259-260.

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