History

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The Fountain Hill Center’s main office is located in Grand Rapid Michigan’s Heritage Hill Historical District that boasts a local history spanning 130 years. The district is one of the largest urban historic districts in the United States and represent Michigan’s largest and finest concentration of nineteenth and early twentieth-century houses. Through each change of hands, the house has been modified and its story has become richer.

1883

McGeorge Bundy’s fiancée was given this house as a wedding gift. The same year, he returned from France after serving as a U.S. Diplomatic Corps’ member. Bundy’s grandsons, McGeorge and William, notably served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

1910

The Bundy family sold house to Blair family.

1922

Blair family sold house to Mr. and Mrs. Earl S. Irwin of Irwin Seating Company, the world leader in public seating. Irwin was also director of Michigan National Bank and a trustee of Butterworth Hospital. In 1924, the Irwin family converted this floor to a ping pong and billiards recreation room, so the current city tennis champion (Earle’s son, William) and the former champion (Earle) could keep their skills fresh during the winter months.

1966

Heritage Hill HomeThe Central Reformed Church purchased the house from the Irwin family, with the intention of demolishing it to expand their parking lot. The federally protected Heritage Hill District was formed shortly after the purchase, which made the house a permanent piece of Grand Rapids history. As a result, the house became a rental property.

312562_10151161723196596_278968_nThe balcony above the front desk was the location for the original staircase. When the house was converted to apartments, the original staircase was removed – creating our “balcony to nowhere” – and a new staircase was built to accommodate a multi-unit floor plan.

1975 – 1986

The Marriage and Family Center (now Fountain Hill Center) was established by Central Reformed Church. A group of lay people from Central believed that if the Church was to take “caring” seriously, it should create a counseling center that would serve both the congregation of Central, as well as the greater Grand Rapids community.

Andy Atwood, then working at as Central a part-time as Minister to Singles, became the Center’s first staff member and our founder. The Center began leasing the first floor for office space in 1975. By 1986 they had expanded their office space to the second floor. The third floor remained an apartment.

1991

With the help of a generous and supportive donor, the entire house was purchased from the Central Reformed Church.

1996

The Marriage and Family Center changed its name to the Fountain Hill Center for Counseling and Consultation. Over the years we have had a variety of wonderful staff join the Center. Some have stayed for decades, while others have come and gone within years. Each contributing toward diversifying the services available to our community.

Today

Our clients and visitors frequently comment on the benefits of providing counseling and consultation within the walls of this beautiful historic home. Its “homey” atmosphere provides comfort and ease to those taking their next step. Take a tour of the home by downloading our Holiday Home Tour photos that were taken during our Second Annual Holiday Open House. download tour…

From our roots at the Bundy House, we have expanded. We also have a location in easttown and are serving the community of Oceana County from an office in New Era.