Sometimes we're too close to see the changes. Looking at these then and now photographs of downtown Kalamazoo, from just the past 15 years or so, you realize that at the very least the scenery has changed, but also the landscape as well. And this is only 2007 or so, and not a long time ago. Thanks to a feature on Google Maps, we can move through 15 years.

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Many things are still the same, as are many of the problems that face the city and the downtown area as well. And in some cases, it's been a trade-off between one kind of growth at the expense of another. An example that comes to mind is the Arcadia Creek Festival Site. For years, city leaders wanted a showcase festival site to replace the Water Street parking lot, then a few years later, the people who were drawn to live downtown, turned on the city, complaining about the "noise". Yes, the city has seen a lot of new building growth, but it seems to have fewer things to do downtown than in the past thirty years.

Technology changes, work patterns change, people change. We'll see if we even need a classic downtown in the future. City and business leaders are betting we do, but who knows.

It'll be fun to do one of these fifteen years from now.

Things Change: Downtown Kalamazoo 2007-2022

Taking a trip through time, around downtown Kalamazoo. Thanks to Google Street View, see how the landscape has changed in just 15 years

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