Built in 1927, the opulent Spanish-style Kalamazoo State Theatre (404 S. Burdick St., 269/345-6500, www.kazoostate.com, show times and ticket prices vary) now showcases rock, blues, country, and folk concerts. The interior is a rare example of the work of famed architect John Eberson, who re-created an exotic Mediterranean town with a working cloud machine and stars that really twinkle.
Unlike many other Michigan towns, Kalamazoo experienced few boom-and-bust cycles in the last century, thanks to its plentiful and diversified industry. Houses were well maintained, and many stayed in families for generations. You can see the results of that care in the South Street Historic District. Impressive houses went up here between 1847 and World War I, in architectural styles ranging from Greek and Gothic Revival to Georgian and Tudor.
Just north of Kalamazoo College, along Stuart and Woodward between West Michigan and North, business owners built large suburban homes in what is now known as the Stuart Avenue Historic District to display the wealth they amassed after the Civil War. You’ll find a variety of elaborate Queen Anne, Italianate, and Eastlake homes here, including the meticulously restored Stuart Avenue Inn bed-and-breakfast.
If you appreciate Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, the city’s Parkwyn Village, at Taliesin and Parkwyn Drives in southwest Kalamazoo, was designed as a cooperative neighborhood by the famed architect in the late 1940s and includes examples of his Usonian style. You can view more Wright homes in the 11000 block of Hawthorne, south of the city of Galesburg.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel