loading background

Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

cover photo

Designers Add Volumes to Library's Furniture Section

An addition of twenty books, some of them rare copies, to the furniture designers’ workshop of the Grand Rapids Library was made this week with presentation of the volumes by the Grand Rapids Furniture Designers Association.

Jack G. Buzzitta, president of the association and a designer with Stow & Davis Furniture Co., Robert Bennet, Jr., engineer with Stow & Davis, and Leon W. Hall, free lance designer, made the presentation to Donald W. Kohlstedt, director of the library, as one more step toward building up the furniture collection in the workshop, which was started many years ago and transferred to the workshop when it was established about a year ago.


Outstanding in the new collection are several original copies of early road catalogs of the old Phoenix Furniture Co., in blueprint, and a main catalog of photographs dating back to about 1878. These copies probably are the only existing volumes of these early catalogs.

Also in the list is Cooper & Holt’s Designs printed in London and Das Interieur, a German book, both printed around 1880. An Italian book on provincial “mobel” is also included.

A copy of Robert and James Adams Architecture, Decoration, and Furniture 1777, printed in New York in the late 1800s is another prized item.

Some of the books were salvaged from the fire than destroyed the Harvey N. Hall Cabinet Co. plant in 1894. Leon Hall, son of Harvey, had preserved the books, which still bear the smoke and heat marks of that blaze.


A few modern works are part of the collection, such as Mobel und Raum, a German Book, and L’arradamente Moderne, an Italian publication. A couple of portfolios of design plates are included as of special value to design students.

The library collection of furniture books now includes around 1,000 works, Kohlstedt estimated.

“This workshop has been one of my dreams,” Buzzitta said. “We hope it will constantly grow and we’re hoping for more room.”

You’ll get it when we get our library addition,” Kohlstedt promised.

Grand Rapids Press, May 15, 1956, page 17


Like Us on Facebook
site by GRCMC