As we approach one year of lockdowns and dealing with Coronavirus, take a quick look back to what the city was talking about in March of 2020 and looking forward to.

Is recent history really history? Time has been so distorted by the pandemic, it is hard to believe that a year ago, in the beginning of March 2020, only those who closely followed World News had heard of Wuhan, China and a disease that had stricken the city. The American attitude of "it can't happen here" didn't last long as everything soon changed and we realized that it truly is a small world after all.

The destruction Kalamazoo was concerned about was the demolition of the historic Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse on what was once the campus of Nazareth College. The massive 237,000 square foot building was razed, despite local efforts to save it.

The Palace of Auburn Hills, once home to the Detroit Pistons and a stage graced by legendary rock and pop concert acts, was coming down too. It would be July before they pressed the Acme plunger and imploded the building, but the knocking down of the exterior was well underway in March, as fans remembered their favorite experiences in the venue. Fittingly, Bob Seger played the final show.

The Capri Drive-In was thinking Spring and getting ready to set opening day for the 2020 season, which would become their longest ever- extending into December for the first time in history. The owner of Kalamazoo 10 and West Columbia 7 movie theaters made headlines as Goodrich Quality Theaters filed for bankruptcy in March of 2020. Looking back, the timing is fortuitous as a company with financial issues would have found it incredibly difficult to survive the lengthy, mandated shutdown.

The Radisson downtown Kalamazoo announced in March that longtime favorite Zazio's would be closing in 2020. A complete renovation of the existing space with plans for a new concept were unveiled with plans for a new restaurant to come in 2021. There was an outpouring of love and admiration on social media as Kalamazoo was saddened by the passing of Taco Bob's Bob Ketterman on March 2.

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We've learned more than we ever wanted to know about Coronavirus, disease, droplets, particles, social distancing, Zoom meetings, and the challenges of working from home and virtual learning for kids in the past year. Has it only been a year? It seems like forever ago that we had never heard of Coronavirus. Take heart, with what we've learned since then and the vaccination efforts picking up speed, I've got to believe that we are much closer to the end of all this than the beginning.

Colorized Pictures of Early Kalamazoo That Will Blow Your Mind


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