See Downtown Grand Rapids Decked out For Christmas Circa 1965
Old school Christmas decorations were WAY more better than these minimalist ones we have today. Don't believe me? Here's your proof.
A series of three photos posted by a Grand Rapids man and credited to his 'grandpa or great grandpa' shows downtown GR decked out for he Holidays back in the '60s.
The first photo, looking down Monroe Center (then, it was just Monroe) from Ionia Street, clearly show GR institutions as the now departed Wurzburg's Department store, the Morton House Hotel (which still exists), the old Pantlind Hotel (now the Amway Grand) and the Old Kent Bank sign high atop McKay Tower.
The second photo takes a different angle on the same stretch, showing Sears, just past
Wurzburg's in the other direction, and you can also kind of make out the edge of the old S.S. Kresge's store.
Kresge's later expanded out to become the famed Michigan chain K-Mart. (or as they called in our neighborhood, 'K-marts'. I guess we just love adding 'S' to stuff in Michigan).
But the big difference is the immensity of the Christmas decorations. While today, a minimalist footprint is left for the decorations, back then it was an all-out wonderful explosion of light and color.
Giant stars surrounded by Christmas bulbs were lit up over the streetscape, while large trees were placed on awnings and lit up. Off to the side, lit neon double Christmas trees overlooked the sidewalk space, underscored by yet another star.
All in all, it must have been a big deal to take all this in when you were a little kid, star-struck by the season like we all were.
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