It would be difficult to get more Kalamazoo than Irving Gilmore. His father, James F. Gilmore founded the Gilmore Brothers Department Store. Gilmore Brothers was open in Kalamazoo for over a century before closing in 1999. After the senior Gilmore died in 1908, his mother, Carrie Sherwood Gilmore married W.E. Upjohn, the founder of Upjohn Pharmaceuticals. Irving Gilmore founded the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. Western Michigan University has the Irving S. Gilmore Theatre. You do not get more Kalamazoo than the Gilmores and the Upjohns.

The Irving Gilmore mansion, a couple of blocks from the heart of downtown Kalamazoo is up for sale. The asking price is only $429,900. No extra charge for the history that comes with it.

According to a 1999 story in the St. Joseph Herald-Palladium, "Children played there, the family entertained friends, had family dinners and three generations of the Gilmore family enjoyed the warmth and beauty of their Tudor home at 516 W. South St."

The story goes on to say the home for the better part of the last half-century was the Chapter House for the Kalamazoo chapter of the American Red Cross. But that story was updated in 2011, and stated the house was going to be repurposed for office space. But, now it's for sale at what sounds like a reasonable price, and yes, I suppose you could make it office space but with the spirit that some younger residents have, you could see it being used as a family home, which is what it's listed as.

Looking through the stories of the home's uses in the recent past, one item sticks out. At an event, it mentions a "rare" showing of Jim Gilmore's model train collection, and that leads to more connections to the family. Jim Gilmore, who died in 1999, was the Cadillac-Pontiac dealer in Kalamazoo, at 411 West Kalamazoo Ave., where city officials hope to put an arena/convention center complex soon. Jim Gilmore was the money behind legendary Indy Car racer A.J. Foyt. Another of those names that put Kalamazoo in the national consciousness. And, yet another reminder is, the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners. This was founded by Irving Gilmore's brother Donald, who was the CEO at Upjohn, and began collecting vintage cars in the early 1960's. The family's legacy continues to this day.

107.7 WRKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

So, we talked about it, now take a look around the Irving Gilmore Mansion at 516 West South Street.

Irving Gilmore Mansion, Kalamazoo, 516 W. South Street,

This is the Irving Gilmore Mansion in downtown Kalamazoo, a block from the Art Institute, Bronson Park and the Civic Center.

15 Iconic Retail Stores That Don't Exist Anymore (But We Totally Miss Shopping At)

More From 107.7 WRKR-FM