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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Guild is for All

For the first time in the history of the furniture industry of this city the manufacturers have provided themselves with a home and meeting place. At the meeting yesterday of the Furniture Manufacturers’ Association of Grand Rapids, which is a consolidation of the Grand Rapids Furniture Association and the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturers’ Association, negotiations were completed for the purchase of the Guild, its equipment and lease, which extends for two years. The Guild was organized by six manufacturers and the commodious quarters in the Weston Building were beautifully fitted up. Café service was secured from the Pantlind Hotel.

The six firms that effected the organization were the Nelson-Matter Furniture Co., the Grand Rapids Chair Co., Stickley Bros., the Luce Furniture Co., the Macey Co., and the Imperial Furniture Co. Later a few other firms came in, but under the new arrangements every plant connected with the association will have equal privileges.

The rooms have been used for the entertainment of visiting buyers and sellers of furniture and by many of the local furniture men. The need of such an institution by the entire association here has been long felt and so some time ago negotiations were begun for taking over the Guild and making it the home and meeting place of the entire association. The date of transfer was made Jan. 1st.

If the proposed new (Pantlind) hotel project goes through it is understood that the relinquishment of the lease upon the Guild rooms will mean the provision of other adequate quarters in the new building. A house committee has been appointed to formulate rules and regulations for operating the club, for this the Guild virtually has become.

Evening Press, January 3, 1912, page 7


The original members of the Furniture Guild will hold a farewell dinner meeting in their old rooms Saturday night, and then a hasty removal of the furniture and furnishings will be made before the wreckers for the Pantlind site reach the building. The guild rooms are paneled in black ash, every panel carefully selected for beauty of figure and richness of color. The original plan was to remove these panels and store them to use in finishing the new quarters, but it is likely they will be sold for what they will bring. The guild has many costly rugs and draperies and some of the finest furniture that the Grand Rapids manufacturers produce. A number of valuable pictures and the deer, moose, and other heads presented by Roy S. Barnhart, as trophies of his African hunt, and by other furniture nimrods. These things will be carefully stored until the quarters are ready for their rooms in the new Pantlind. The guild was originally made up of six manufacturers who furnished the rooms at their own expense. The rooms were afterward taken over by the furniture association to be used as a meeting place and clubrooms.

Evening Press June 5, 1913, page 12

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