The Brookby Estate (250 Plymouth Rd.) has recently been donated to Aquinas College. This property has quite a history. If you have been to Blodgett Hospital, then it’s certain you have seen the estate.
Built in 1928, the property is located on Fisk Lake and consists of the Blodgett house as well as several other subsidiary buildings. The main house was designed by A. Stewart Walker, a member of the architectural firm Walker and Gillette. It is significant for its association with John W. Blodgett and his wife, Minnie Cumnock Blodgett, both of whom were important to the history of the Grand Rapids.
Sam and Janene Cummings donated the property after 14 years in residence to Aquinas College, but they aren’t leaving our city. In fact, they are going to co-chair a committee at the private college to overlook not only Brookby, but all of the historical sites on the campus.
“Aquinas College is grateful to Sam and Janene for their generous gift, and we look forward to being good stewards of the Brookby estate,” says Lt. General John Nowak, chair, Aquinas College Board of Trustees.
The Brookby Estate was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1977 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
“Brookby holds a special place in our community’s history, and represents a very special place in her connection to the history of Aquinas, so Janene and I felt it was only appropriate that we donate the estate to the College,” explains Sam Cummings.
He continues, “Now is the right time. It’s a birthday present of sorts.” Cummings is referring to the 125th anniversary of Aquinas College, a year-long celebration marking the historical presence of the college in our community.
“This wonderful gesture by the Cummings is incredibly inspiring and consistent with their association with the historic estate,” says Aquinas College President Dr. Juan R. Olivarez. “It’s very fitting that Sam and Janene continue the legacy of philanthropy that the Blodgett and Lowe families exemplified before them.”
Want to join Sam and Janene Cummings as do-gooders? Learn more about the Brookby Estate and support Aquinas College. Here’s how:
• Check out the history
of the Brookby Estate
• Learn more
about Aquinas College
Source: Lt Gen John Nowak, Aquinas College; Dr. Juan R. Olivarez, Aquinas College; Sam Cummings, CWD Real Estate
Writer: Jennifer Wilson, Do Good Editor