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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2017, 5:06 PM
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I never thought of a "zoo" when I hear the name Kalamazoo.

I always thought it sounded like a Wizard's name or something a magician would say.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2017, 4:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Ironically, there is not a zoo in the 'Zoo City'. At least not in the traditional sense. There is a place called 'Air Zoo' in Portage, which is a pretty popular aviation museum & science center. The closest actual zoo is Binder Park Zoo, near Battle Creek.
I've never been, but literally everyone I know whose been to Binder Park tells me it's one of the best zoos in the country, which says a lot about a small zoo. Potter Park here in Lansing also gets pretty high marks for small city zoos from what I've heard.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2017, 1:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMich View Post
I've never been, but literally everyone I know whose been to Binder Park tells me it's one of the best zoos in the country, which says a lot about a small zoo. Potter Park here in Lansing also gets pretty high marks for small city zoos from what I've heard.
I've heard similar things about both, but have never been to either one. Binder Park just wrapped up a capital campaign involving numerous new exhibits, most recently a new lion exhibit last week.

Last edited by deja vu; Jul 28, 2017 at 1:52 AM.
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2017, 9:51 PM
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The following photos are from a recent tour of the old Vicksburg Paper Mill, which may soon be getting a new life. The new owner grew up in the area (Chris Moore, Paper City Development LLC, also owner of Old Stove Brewery in Seattle) and has ambitious plans to convert the site into a $50 million mixed-use development, to include a brewery, beer garden, restaurant, retail spaces, craft food and beverage production facility, offices, arts community space, museum, 42 apartments, and indoor / outdoor events spaces.

Funding is still being secured from a variety of sources, but these plans are the most serious that have ever been proposed for the site. Extensive cleanup of the interior has already taken place, and the plan is for Phase 1 (the brewery) to begin construction Spring 2018.

A few quick stats:
  • This is one of the last remaining relatively intact defunct paper mills in an area that was once considered the Paper Capitol of the Country.
  • Construction of the original portion was completed in 1905.
  • It started as Vicksburg’s Lee Paper Company, and later became Simpson Paper Co.
  • At its peak, there were as many as 250 employees, who converted worn textiles and rags into paper products.
  • Fox River Paper Co. bought it in 1996, and quietly shuttered it a few years later (many claim this was an effort by the company to kill their competition).
  • The complex has been abandoned since 2001.
  • The property today consists of 124 acres.
  • The facility is currently around 420,000 SF total.
  • Design Architect: HopkinsBurns Design Studio - Ann Arbor, MI
  • Landscape Architect: Johnson Hill Land Ethics Studio - Ann Arbor, MI
  • MEP Engineers: Byce & Associates, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Construction Manager: Frederick Construction - Vicksburg, MI

The place looks big from the outside, but once inside, the scale of it is truly overwhelming. It would be easy to get lost on one's first visit. Fortunately, we had guides.

Here's some 'paper-themed' music to accompany your scrolling:
Video Link




























The graffiti writers are evidently big Nickelback fans. The graffiti throughout was actually very sparse:
































































A portion of the Mill was damaged by an arsonist several years ago. We could not venture too far into here. Fortunately, the fire was contained, and instead of the fire damage becoming a reason / excuse to demolish the structure, it will be a part of the redevelopment plans:










Here's an area in the basement that was not cleaned up yet:













These upper-level rooms were stiflingly hot; it was 90+ degrees outside, and the temporary roof covering, translucent plastic sheets, effectively turned it into a giant greenhouse:







The original structure is beautiful though:














































It's not an old arcade game, but it looks like one:










Finally, throughout the complex, there are several boards showing the original, existing, and proposed conditions:

























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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2017, 11:26 PM
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Looks like a BFD.
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