McKay Tower

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McKay Tower
McKay Tower, Grand Rapids.jpg
McKay Tower in 2010.
General information
Type Office
Location 146 Monroe Center NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan
United States
Coordinates 42°57′58″N 85°40′17″W / 42.9662°N 85.6714°W / 42.9662; -85.6714Coordinates: 42°57′58″N 85°40′17″W / 42.9662°N 85.6714°W / 42.9662; -85.6714
Completed 1927
Antenna spire 259 ft (79 m)
Roof 227 ft (69 m)
Technical details
Floor count 18
Floor area 126,024 sq ft (11,708.0 m2)[1]
Design and construction
Architect Owen-Ames-Kimball Company

McKay Tower is an office building in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, located on Monroe Center.[2] It is currently the fifth tallest building in Grand Rapids.[3]


The location of McKay Tower is where the first non-Native American marriage took place in Grand Rapids in the 1834, only a few years after settlers arrived and the area was surveyed as part of the Michigan Territory.[3][4] The marriage took place in a cabin that was owned by the American pioneer, Joel Guild which involved his daughter Harriet Guild and Barney Burton.[4] The first town meeting was also held at the cabin that had a total number of nine voters.[4]

The Wonderly Building was then built on the location in 1890.[2] The first two floors of McKay Tower were then built in their current manner in 1915 and the building was then known as the Grand Rapids National Bank.[3] Another 11 floors were added between 1921 and 1927.[2] In 1942, the tower was bought from the Grand Rapids National Bank by Grand Rapids businessman and politician, Frank D. McKay.[3] In the early 1940s, two additional mechanical floors were added to the tower.[3]

From the completion of the tower in 1927 to 1983, the McKay Tower was the tallest building in Grand Rapids until the completion of the Amway Grand tower.[3] The McKay Tower was also the tallest office building in Grand Rapids until Bridgewater Place was completed in 1993.[2] In 2000, the University of Michigan, which acquired the building from McKay's will, sold the tower.[3]


McKay Tower is a Greek Revival structure.[3] The tower currently has a three-story penthouse and a metal dome.[2]

Preceded by
St Mary's Catholic Church
Tallest Building in Grand Rapids
259 feet
Succeeded by
Amway Grand


  1. ^ "McKay Tower". Skyscraper Center. CTBUH. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e "McKay Tower". SkyscraperPage. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ellison, Garret (September 18, 2012). "McKay Tower in Grand Rapids Quietly Sold to Borisch Family for $10.5 Million". MLive. Booth Newspapers. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c History and Directory of Kent County, Michigan, Containing a History of Each Township, and the City of Grand Rapids; the Name, Location and Postoffice Address of All Residents Outside of the City: A List of Postoffices in the County; a Schedule of Population; and Other Valuable Statistics. Grand Rapids, MI: Daily Eagle Steam Printing House. 21 November 1870. pp. 114–136. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
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