LOWE MANSION TO CELEBRATE 100th ANNIVERSARY
May 5, 2008 - Grand Rapids, Michigan (May 5, 2008) - Aquinas College will mark the 100th anniversary of the Holmdene manor house on campus this year, with a Centennial Celebration from Noon to 4 p.m. on May 17 that will highlight the history and architecture of the former Lowe family residence. The event is free and open to the public.
The College has initiated renovation work on portions of the 22-room, 16-fireplace mansion that currently houses the offices of the president, administrators and faculty. Holmdene is on the Register of Historic Sites for both the City of Grand Rapids and the State of Michigan.
"Holmdene is the front door and centerpiece of the campus," says Lou Corsiglia, who, along with his wife Arlene, is spearheading the renovation effort. The couple established an endowment for the project in 2004.
The Centennial Celebration and open house will offer the public an opportunity to step back in time, with tours of Holmdene and its immaculate gardens accompanied by a feature film of the estate from the 1930's. The event will additionally serve to promote the work of the Holmdene Heritage Society (HHS), which strives to restore and maintain the architectural integrity of the mansion, and to preserve the history of the Lowe and Blodgett families as it pertains to the Grand Rapids community at large. In addition, the HHS promotes beautification of the entire Aquinas campus and works to enhance its neighboring communities of East Grand Rapid, Eastown and southeast Grand Rapids.
The former estate of Edward and Susan Blodgett Lowe was purchased by the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids in 1945 when Aquinas College relocated to its present location from downtown. Holmdene served as both the administrative and academic heart of Aquinas until 1955 when the School's Academic Building was completed.