Submitted by scott on

The origins of hospitality on the present site of the Radisson Plaza Hotel date to August 1850 when construction of an imposing four-story brick structure began. Built by Frank Dennison and initially known simply as Dennison’s brick block, the new building occupied one hundred feet of frontage along Main Street, today’s Michigan Avenue. The Kalamazoo Gazette described the architecture and facilities in grand terms, noting a large archway which defined the main entrance. From this entry, a broad hall extended through the building creating space for two stores. An elegant spiral staircase provided access to the upper floors where one would find a third floor concert hall and accommodations for about two hundred guests. The roofline was crowned with a cupola, which would help the new hotel dominate the downtown streetscape. The Kalamazoo Gazette wrote of the new hotel’s design, “The effect is imposing and carries us back to the feudal architecture of the 14th century.”

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