When I first moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan I knew nothing about the city.

While trying to find a place to live near Downtown a friend told me to check out the Heritage Hill area.

I took their advice and ended up in an old house split into 4 different apartments.

As time went on I learned more about Grand Rapids' oldest neighborhood.

The Amazing History Of Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids Oldest Neighborhood

Heritage Hill is the oldest neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a rich history dating back to the 1840s.

Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
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The 1-square-mile area is home to over 1,300 historic properties representing more than 60 architectural styles, from Greek Revival to Prairie style.

Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Heritage Hill was the city's most prestigious residential area, home to lumber barons, teachers, judges, and legislators who shaped Grand Rapids' future.

Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
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However, in the 1960s, the neighborhood faced threats of urban renewal and demolition, with the city recommending tearing down 75% of Heritage Hill's historic buildings.

Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
Credit: The Great Outdoors via YouTube
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Thankfully residents banded together to form the Heritage Hill Association in 1968, successfully fighting to save their neighborhood.

They invoked the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act, setting a precedent as the first successful court challenge using this law to stop a federal project that would have altered the neighborhood.

Read More: 8 landmarks Anyone In Grand Rapids Would Recognize

The victory not only saved Heritage Hill but also set a nationwide precedent for historic preservation.

Today, Heritage Hill is a thriving community of over 4,000 households, home to a diverse mix of professionals, artisans, students, families, and individuals from all backgrounds.

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