Center City

A frontier fur-trading town that continues to evolve as a hub of innovation and can-do spirit, the Center City district of Grand Rapids is the financial and cultural anchor of Michigan's West Coast.

Rising on the eastern shore of the Grand River, Center City features numerous attractions. The Civic Theatre is Michigan's oldest community theatre. The GRAM holds more than 5,000 works in its permanent collection. The Monroe Center walking mall offers a wide selection of coffee houses, restaurants, and boutique shops. Rosa Parks Circle, the district's public park and amphitheatre, hosts weekly blues concerts in the summer and ice skating in the winter.

Another unique highlight is La Grande Vitesse, a large outdoor sculpture at the center of government square, which is distinguished as America's first publicly-funded art installation. The district's major festivals include a three-day arts celebration in June, as well as distinct Polish, Irish, Italian, Native American, Latino, Mexican, German, and African American celebrations of cultural heritage throughout the summer.

Incorporated as a city in 1850 with a population of 2,686, Center City now is the heart of Michigan's second largest city. Once known as the Furniture Capitol of the World, this also is the epicenter of Grand Rapids effort to redefine its identity as a leader of modern medical research and sustainable design.

Development News Ballot

Received your absentee ballot application? City has mailed them to all registered voters


Feature Story Riot

Dawn breaks after protest: Community cleanup provides unexpected opportunity for dialogue


Feature Story FTparks

Take a hike: Ten favorite West Michigan trails to explore this season


Development News Mobile Bike

Veteran bike mechanic has Common Bond with cyclists


Feature Story United Way

Published Together: With Coronavirus Response Fund, a community comes together


Feature Story Restaurants

SpartanNash partners with local restaurants to reach customers at the grocery store


Development News Black Book Box

The City of Grand Rapids’ Neighborhood Match Fund offers COVID-19 resiliency grants


Feature Story Gala2020_0256 Jermale and Anissa Eddie

A night to remember: Gala 2020 flips the script on the traditional fundraiser


Development News malamiah

Malamiah Juice Bar moving to Studio Park


Development News Kingfisher

And Kingfisher makes three: That Early Bird proprietors settle in at the center of the universe


Signup for Email Alerts