Oz in the News 6.8.17

Landmark with Judy Garland History Marks 100 A Grand Rapids building turned 100 this year. It’s a building many people driving through Grand Rapids pass every day, but to millions around the world, it is a special landmark because it was here that two and a half year-old “Fanny” Gumm made her legendary debut. It was the beginning of a career that would one day take her around the world, making her one of the most loved performers of all time. The building where all this took place is 212 S. Pokegama Ave. Although today it is used as an office building, in April of 1917, it opened to the public with great fanfare as a motion picture theatre, The New Grand. For months the Grand Rapids Herald Review and the Itasca County Independent had been reporting on the building’s progress. Jesse Madson of Hibbing, named as the builder, was financing the construction. Chaulberg and Baum were the contractors. Elmer Madson of Grand Rapids (Jesse’s brother) supervised labor on the foundation and basement, and James Heffron of Duluth supervised the building of the walls, which were constructed with four layers of bricks.

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