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Grand Rapids, MI

Located on the Grand River in Western Michigan, Grand Rapids is the second largest city in the state. In 2007, the city had an estimated population of 194,000. During the second half of the 19th century, the city became a major lumbering center and the premier furniture manufacturing city of the United States, and was nicknamed "Furniture City." The city is also known as a center of Christian publishing, and the surrounding area is noted for its fruit production. It's an environmentally minded town, too: The city has more LEED-certified energy efficient homes per capita than any other city in the United States.


Some of the many distinctive neighborhoods in Grands Rapids are:


Nicknamed "Furniture City," Grand Rapids emerged in the second half of the 19th century as a major center of lumbering and furniture manufacturing. Today, the city remains a world leader in the production of office furniture and is home to leading corporations such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, American Seating, Haworth and Knoll.

Other major employers in Grand Rapids include Altcor/Amway, Haworth, Johnson Controls, Meijer Supermarkets, Farmers Insurance, Spectrum Healthcare, Wolverine Worldwide and Zondervan Publishing House.


Grand Rapids is home to a wide range of cultural institutions. Professional opera, ballet and theater companies, a symphony orchestra and one of the largest community theaters in the country are all central to the artistic life of Grand Rapids. Many of these organizations can trace their roots to the St. Cecilia Music Center. Founded in 1883, St. Cecilia's offers music instruction and sponsors concerts by world-renowned performers and local artists. The city enjoys a number of performing-arts venues, including the Devos Performance Hall, Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, Spectrum Theatre, historic Wealthy Street Theatre and the newly constructed Peter Martin Wege Theatre, a small dance venue.

Other cultural and arts institutions in Grand Rapids include:



A wide range of higher education opportunities are available in Grand Rapids. Some of the city's notable institutions include:


Transportation to and from Grand Rapids is relatively easy. The city sits in a network of interstate, federal and state highways. Eight airlines provide service to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The city also has three rail freight systems, 40 major trucking lines and Amtrak passenger service to Chicago.


Grand Rapids has access to a wide range of local, regional and national media, including six television stations and 23 radio stations.

Local publications include:

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