One of Kalamazoo's most notable and iconic landmarks is getting some well deserved recognition. For its immeasurable contributions to rock and roll, and really just the entire music industry across the globe, the original Gibson Guitars factory has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Gibson, along with 13 other sites across the state, were just honored with this historical designation for their contributions to our country's heritage.

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Gibson Guitars

Orville Gibson founded the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd in 1902 in Kalamazoo. In 1917 the company re-located to the building at 225 Parsons St. which served as the company's headquarters until production moved to Tennessee in the '80s.

Former Gibson employees continued to use the building, operating under the Heritage Guitars name, and in 2021 plans were announced to renovate the property and turn the building into a Hard Rock-brand hotel for rock enthusiasts and music lovers.

Through the years the Gibson brand has become synonymous with rock and roll with one of the most iconic guitars on the market being their Gibson Les Paul. Artists known to rock the Gibson brand include Muddy Waters, Billie Joe Armstrong, The Edge, Jerry Garcia, Ace Frehley, and Peter Frampton.

Other Historical Sites

A division of the National Parks Service, to receive this designation and be worthy or preservation buildings must be at least 50 years old and must be, "...associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history."

In addition to the Gibson factory, other Michigan sites added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2022 include:

  • Parkwyn Village in Kalamazoo
  • Fishtown Historic District in Leland
  • Michigan Central Railroad Middleville Depot in Middleville
  • Vicksburg Historic District in Vicksburg
  • Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Michigan in Detroit

In total the Michigan Economic Development Corporation says nearly 2,000 Michigan sites are on the National Register of Historic Places. Check out the complete list of newly added historical sites here.

A Peek Inside Kalamazoo's Heritage Guitar Factory Where Music History Was Made

Heritage Guitar Factory, which was the Gibson Guitar Factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan

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