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South Hill

Formally established as a neighborhood of Grand Rapids in 2000, the South Hill neighborhood is located just south of the Heritage Hill neighborhood. This small neighborhood is home to more than 1,000 people and has started to transform into an up and coming area. When it was first established, the neighborhood was slightly bigger and included the home Gerald R Ford grew up in. Now considered part of Heritage Hill, Ford grew up in the home located at 649 Union Avenue.

Gerald R Ford’s childhood home is not the only great piece of history located near the South Hill neighborhood. The neighborhood borders one of the oldest churches in Grand Rapids, the First Christian Reformed Church. This church was constructed in 1857 and assisted with the establishing of Calvin College.

Although this neighborhood is quaint, there is still space for outdoor enjoyment at Pleasant Park. Almost 2.5-acres, this park has a small sledding hill and a playground for residents to enjoy. Opened in 2014, this park continues to bring great enjoyment to the South Hill neighborhood and those who live nearby.

A great facility in the neighborhood is the Paul I Phillips Recreation Center. Also knowns and the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids, this center helps children reach their full potential. Through education, recreational programs, and positive community experiences, children are encouraged to better themselves and the community they live in.


Near the South Hill neighborhood, Rowster Coffee is a great place to grab a cup of coffee to start your morning or relax in the evening after work. The atmosphere in this coffee shops is great for bringing a group of friends, enjoying a cup of coffee alone, or having your children join you. Another great coffee shop near the South Hill neighborhood is Happy Cat Cafe where you can find specialty coffee drinks, smoothies, and juices. Try one of their delicious treats like a muffin or cookie made fresh from local Grand Rapids bakeries.

Feeling hungry? Stop by the Winchester for a delicious meal that you can wash down with a local craft beer or glass of wine. Their yummy food is made to order and incorporates a blend of unique flavors and ingredients to tingle your taste buds. For unique foods and flavors, grab a bite to eat at the Electric Cheetah, which is just down the road from the Winchester. They make their food with natural and organic ingredients purchased from local people to help support small local businesses.

Just down the street from the South Hill neighborhood, the Madison Square Branch Library is a great place to find some quiet time to read a book. Throughout the year, this library hosts a number of events and programs for residents to attend. Events like teaching people how to cook, teaching basic computer skills, and pajama time for toddlers gives people and children of all ages the opportunity to participate.

Also in the Madison neighborhood, the St. Andrew’s Cemetery which was purchased in August of 1852. This 10-acre plot of land was the first permanent Catholic cemetery founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Buried in this historic cemetery are Louis Campau and his wife who helped establish the city of Grand Rapids.