Grand Ledge Chair Company Plant

Also known as: Riverwalk Apartments
101 Perry St., Grand Ledge, Michigan

Historic factory converted into apartments.

Photos 

South Face and Entrance

Photo taken by Nathan Holth in July 2010

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Map 

Description 

Historic factory converted into apartments. Includes a wooden water tank on the roof.

Information About This Historic Site 

From Michigan Historic Sites Online

Other Names Grand Ledge Chair Company Plant
Property Type factory
Historic Use INDUSTRY/PROCESSING/EXTRACTION
Current Use DOMESTIC/multiple dwelling
Style Other

Narrative Description
The historic structure of the Grand Ledge Chair Company Plant is a long and narrow, three-story, brick factory building built in 1906. The building, which housed the assembly, finishing, and shipping processes of the chair company, exemplifies the heavy, timber, mill construction typical of the turn-of-the-century period. The factory has a flat, built-up roof. The facades exhibit regular fenestration with double-hung windows set into segmental-arch heads. The street-facing portion of the facade is treated with a stepped-gable design containing in its center the main entrance. The parapets have corbelled brick detailing below the cornice line. Perched atop the roof on a square, brick base and in line with the main entrance is a wood-slat water tank held together with steel bands.

Statement of Significance
The Grand Ledge Chair Company Plant is the only example surviving in the Grand Ledge-Lansing area of a furniture-manufacturing complex built during the heyday of the furniture-manufacturing industry in southern Michigan in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries. It housed one of Grand Ledge's principal industrial concerns and largest employers in the early twentieth century. The company originated as a small furniture shop located in the center of Grand Ledge in 1874, but incorporated in 1888 as the Grand Ledge Chair Company. The first owners sold their interests to Edward H. Turnbull in 1893 and the firm prospered under his management. The 1906 building reflected many improvements in factory design to resist fire including brick construction, heavy timber frame to support the building even when partially burned, and framing and flooring fully exposed to view without crawl spaces. The company remained in the family of Edward Turnbull's wife, Emma A. Turnbull until 1973 and closed in 1981. The building has been redeveloped and is currently in use as an apartment complex.

Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1902, 1906
Registry Type(s) 01/09/1990 Marker erected
11/03/1987 National Register listed
04/20/1989 State Register listed
Site ID# P22962

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1987
Reference number
87001377
Areas of significance
Industry; Engineering; Architecture
Level of significance
Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
District
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1902; 1906
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2
Contributing structures: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 2
Non-contributing structures: 1

Tags 

20th Century (29,076)
Brick (42,462)
Built 1902 (811)
Built during 1900s (9,446)
District (10,527)
Eaton County, Michigan (20)
Grand Ledge, Michigan (2)
Michigan (1,955)
Private owner (54,398)
Stone (26,160)

Update Log 

  • July 11, 2010: Essay added by Nathan Holth
  • July 11, 2010: New photos from Nathan Holth
  • July 9, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated info for building.

Sources