• Featured,  Travel

    Walloon Lake warmth

    The village of Walloon Lake, tucked near Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, has roots in northern Michigan’s tourism industry that date back to the late 1800s. It is still a getaway destination for those seeking a quaint and picturesque reprieve alongside multi-seasonal outdoor adventure and this is credited in part to the Hotel Walloon. The lakefront boutique hotel continues to be a centerpiece among the developing village, gaining accolades along the way, such as its status as the only privately owned, AAA Four Diamond awarded resort in northern Michigan and, recently, a 2019 Travel Award for Best Wine Country Hotel by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice. Offering vintage elegance, warm…

  • Featured,  Travel

    The Union at Railside

    Beside its rapid business development, renowned craft beverages, and growing culinary scene, the Grand Rapids, Michigan area is also known for an eclectic mix of venues—from museums and breweries to gardens and multi-use markets—which also make it a popular regional wedding destination.  This past summer, the design of a new event venue, placed amid the rolling lawns and flowering trees of Railside Golf Club in Byron Center, Michigan, was added to the mix. It is distinguished by an up to 350-seat capacity and a barrier-free, panoramic view of the course’s ninth hole and its picturesque seasonal landscape. The design was originally based on the club’s previous outdoor wedding tent, which…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Public space, reimagined

    In recent years, there has been a growing initiative in urban landscapes to look beyond the imminent tomorrow and reimagine the next generation of public spaces. It is a movement encouraging cities, architects, designers, and urban planners to reclaim underutilized infrastructure and transform it into hybrid spaces of both city and greenspace: parks that also serve as public squares, gardens, transit corridors, and living, moving performance art. For several public-private partners in Toronto, Ontario, the Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway connecting the downtown city to its surrounding neighborhoods presented the perfect opportunity to posit a new take on the cultural destination and city park. The Gardiner Expressway, which carries thousands of…

  • Form

    Wisconsin’s Highland

    At just 20-years-old, young entrepreneur Elle Kaderabek made the move to become a business owner with the purchase and renovation of what was previously known as Kessler’s Old World Guesthouse in Cleveland, Wisconsin. Renamed by Kaderabek after the highlander cow, Highland Lodge is a rustic-modern, eight-room hotel with plans for additional expansion. The hotel, originally opened in 2002, was previously owned by Frank Kessler and Kay Kessler and was designed to authentically represent German-style buildings. The couple, who frequently visited Germany, decorated the inn with memorabilia from their trips, according to Kaderabek. “When [Kessler] left, he left all his German art, memorabilia, and beds in the hotel. It was a…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Celebrated history 

    Northern Michigan is often known as a vibrant tourist destination due to its valuable natural resources and seasonal beauty. Since the 1870s—and as railroads expanded their lines to reach more corners of the area—hidden gems such as Walloon Lake were exposed to the yearly influx of visitors from cities such as Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Chicago.  To participate in the industry expansion, Hotel Walloon was built in the 1890s and featured stylish parlors, wrap-around porches, and embellished woodwork. The newest rendition of Hotel Walloon, developed by real estate developers Jonathan and Matt Borisch in 2015, is at the forefront of the Village of Walloon Lake’s intimate-yet-bustling tourism industry and is styled…

  • Travel

    Reinvigorated essence

    Text: R. Collins For many northern Michigan businesses and organizations, the serenity of the area’s natural environment—composed by sandy bluffs, fresh water, dense deciduous forests, and awe-inspiring seasonal changes—often inspires the design of retail and gathering spaces. When it came time for Spa Grand Traverse, a full-service spa within the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan, to receive an upgrade to its interior design, aesthetics inspired by northern Michigan’s natural assets were incorporated during the remodel to not only encourage relaxation, but also a sense of separation from a guest’s external stressors upon reopening. “[We were] looking to find that same balance that is found in nature and wanting to…

  • Architecture,  Form

    Mountain inn

    Text: Kyle Gandy Crystal Mountain, a nationally recognized four-season resort located about 28 miles southwest of Traverse City in Thompsonville, Michigan, has recently undergone an $11 million, 31,200-square-foot expansion—The Inn at the Mountain—that comprises 25 suites, a specialty market, a rooftop terrace, and coffee and wine bar. “One of the demands, in terms of our guests, is that we needed more hotel space; particularly, we host plenty of meetings and conferences, so the 25 suites help with that,” said Brian Lawson, director of public relations at Crystal Mountain. “Another thing we needed was an additional bar space, and more specifically, a place where you could get a cup of coffee.…