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Heritage Hill is one of the largest urban historic districts in the country. It was the first “neighborhood” of Grand Rapids and is adjacent to downtown, the medical institutions and universities, and the hip Uptown district. It is bound by Crescent Street (north), Union Avenue (east), Pleasant Street (south), and Lafayette Avenue (west). Its 1,300 homes date from 1843 and represent Michigan’s largest and finest concentration of nineteenth and early twentieth-century houses. Nearly every style of American architecture, from Greek Revival to Prairie is represented. These were the homes of lumber barons, teachers, judges, and legislators who shaped the city’s future. Heritage Hill was designated by the American Planning Association as one of 2012’s Great Places in America. Heritage Hill offers Michigan’s largest and finest collection of 19th and early 20th century houses. Today, its population of 4,000 households is very diverse. Professionals, artisans and students; singles, couples and families, renters and homeowners; people of all colors, backgrounds and incomes make Heritage Hill home.
The Heritage Hill Association formed in 1968 to stop a variety of urban renewal projects that would have demolished 75% of the neighborhood. Its purpose is to provide neighbors a way of collectively building a healthy, historically preserved community where people can live and work in a secure and stable environment. Issues include land use, crime and safety concerns, preservation, parking and traffic, education and other quality of life issues…