For the past several decades, Lincoln Street in Grand Rapids has been the pathway through which thousands of visitors have passed on their way to perhaps “the most beautiful spot in North America”, the Great Rapids of the Maumee River.
Lincoln Street was the vision of Don Entenman, then president of the Historical Society of Grand Rapids. The street came to life through the collaboration of the Village and the Historical Society using funds from a grant secured by Village Administrator, Chad Hoffman, and monies derived from the Historical Society’s Applebutter Fest. The plantings, public restrooms, seating, and pleasant ambience enhance the village and river experience for visitors and residents alike.
Our intention is to refurbish the plantings and landscape in Lincoln Street and to incorporate a water feature and plaque that will commemorate the role played by Don and Audrey Entenman in the transformation of Grand Rapids from an aging river town to the vibrant village it is today.
A committee from the community was formed in March to oversee the revitalization plan development and it will see the project through to completion this summer. Early efforts were focused on securing the funds needed for the project. Calvin Babish, a Toledo stonemason, designed the water feature and we worked with local landscape professionals to create the plantings.
The Lincoln Street Revitalization Committee
Mike Fatzinger, Steve Kryder, Joe Long, Dave LaRoe, Rachel Smith
There are so many people we need to thank for the Lincoln Street Revitalization Project. Individuals and businesses donated from $15 to more than $2,000 toward the cost of the improvements: Adnan Ahmed, Jason Born, Joe & Becky Box, Rodney Carson Family, Paul & Becky Chamberlin, Russ & Nancy Everitt, Mike & Cindy Fatzinger, George & Rita Foos, Jim & Margy Glassford, Marian Graf, Eugenia Hatfield, Pat Heising, Debi Huffman, Jeff & Barbara Jennings, Sharon Keesee, Steve & Pat Kryder Family, Dave LaRoe, Ted & Patricia Ligibel, Joe & Lynne Long, Sam Macera, Mike & Terri Marsh, Ron & Kathy Munk, John & Marcia Neagley, Sonny Nieset, Nila O’Brien, David & Marian Orzechowski, Joe Pemberton, Judy Peper, Priscilla Brehe Pixler, Marie Powell, Mary Alice Powell, Raymond & Norma Roberts, Eric Rotsinger, Mark & Carole Sarkan, Bernie & Jean Scott, Bob & Bonnie Smigelski, Jane Spoerl, Anna Tanner, Jean Thomas, Diana Votava, Roy & Marjorie Waits, June Wright & Family, A-1 Party Rental, C&L Sanitation, Cottage on the River, Downey PHC, Finley Hauling, Grand Rapids Arts Council, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Grand Village Senior Condo Association (in memory of Gloria Schlegel), Hertzfeld Poultry Farms, Historical Society of Grand Rapids Ohio, Just for You Shoppe, Mary’s Apple Orchard, Poggemeyer Design Group, Prudential Financial, Suburban Natural Gas, & Whalen Realty & Auction.
The following supplied services and/or supplies at no cost or discount: Dave & Robin Dudley, Nancy & Russ Everitt, Garden Club of Grand Rapids, Chad Hoffman & Village employees, La Roe’s Restaurant, Nilsson’s Landscaping, Phase Electric/John Berry, & Doug Scott.
Lincoln Street already looks amazing, but there is still more to come. If we overlooked anyone in this list, please accept our apologies and let us know so we can add you to the list of those recognized.
Calvin Babich is a stone sculptor, stone artist, and stone mason. As an artist, he creates large scale sculptures, sculptural fountains, distinctive water features, and artistic rock placements.
Calvin has competed in juried exhibits at museums, galleries, and public spaces throughout Ohio and Michigan.
“Stone has an undeniable presence and I have a passion for stone sculpture using any type of stone and any type of treatment from carving with great detail to fabrications with rocks carved by nature.”
A resident of Toledo, Ohio, Calvin has many pieces on permanent display in public places, as well as in private collections. One of those is now our own Lincoln Street in Grand Rapids!
Work on the project began the week of June 19th. Photos of the progress are provided courtesy of Dave LaRoe.
June 20th Photos - Out with the Old
June 21st Photos - In with the New
June 22nd Photos - Let There Be Water!
July 1st Photos - Work on Memorial Fountain Begins
July 24th - Flowers are in Bloom!
August 6th - Work on Memorial Fountain Continues
August 11th Photos - Fountain has Water!
August 21st Photos
August 28th Photos - And now for some artwork!
The first of what will be several pieces of artwork has been incorporated into fountain area of Lincoln Street. Art piece is courtesy of Garden Gate.
September 28th Photos - Entenman Memorial Plaque Dedication Ceremony
Lincoln Street Revitalization Committee members welcomed individual and business donors of goods, services, and/or funds to the dedication ceremony. Light snacks were enjoyed, as everyone gathered. Stephen Kryder, President of the Historical Society of Grand Rapids Ohio, gave a brief history of Grand Rapids and the Entenman's role in the revitalization of our community. The Entenman memorial plaque was unveiled by two of Audrey and Don Entenman's sons, Dick and Doug, who were present with other family members. New art work has been added to the restroom walls.