HIdden Kalamazoo. It's back for a fourth year, a tour of Kalamazoo's less traveled historic spaces.

Photos courtesy of Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission and City of Kalamazoo. Used by permission.
Photos courtesy of Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission and City of Kalamazoo. Used by permission.
Photos courtesy of Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission and City of Kalamazoo. Used by permission.

If you're a local history buff, this is a great chance to see some of Kalamazoo’s less traveled historic spaces during the annual Hidden Kalamazoo Tour.

According to a release, "When the tornado swept through downtown Kalamazoo in 1980, most of the upper floors of downtown buildings were vacant or used only for storage. Today, only ten historic buildings have unused upper floors- many have been redeveloped into beautiful apartments or comfortable new offices with high ceilings, beautiful woodwork, and an atmosphere only historic buildings offer."

The Hidden Kalamazoo Tour offers you the opportunity to visit these remaining spaces before these windows into the past disappear. This year the tour goes into behind the scenes spaces that have been in constant use for over 75 years like The State Theater, or since 1878 at the Ladies Library. The tour will also include the abandoned Montgomery Wards above Terrapin and the former Boudeman Insurance office over Rustica. On Michigan Avenue in the Haymarket historic district, visit the former office of Benjamin Lyon, the first paper maker in Kalamazoo, and the third floor of the Weber building, which was altered by the 1980 tornado and originally housed the Congregation of Moses.

Also included this year is a yet to be announced “bonus site” at a project currently in progress (but located right downtown near all of the other sites).

The tour sites this year are:

• State Theater, 404 South Burdick St
• Ladies Library Association (LLA), 333 South Park St
• Boudeman Building (Rustica), 236 Kalamazoo South Mall
• Montgomery Wards (Terrapin/Walgreens), 237 Kalamazoo South Mall
• Chase Building (Hiemstra Optical), 234 East Michigan Ave
• Weber Block (Winston’s), 228 East Michigan Ave
• City Hall (Downtown Kalamazoo in Legos display & hub), 241 W South St
• Iannelli Fountain, Bronson Park
• The bonus site is still to be announced!

Tour times are between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on June 18 & 19, when tourists can go from one site to the next on their own schedule, starting and finishing at any stop. Each site will have a manager and a crew of tour guides.

Ticket sales are limited to 900 and are sold in advance only at the locations below. In previous years tickets have sold out almost a week before the tour.

• Spirit of Kalamazoo, 128 Portage
• D & W, 2103 Parkview Ave (at Oakland Dr)
• D & W, 525 Romence Rd
• Kalamazoo City Hall (Treasurer’s Office Window), 241 W South St
• Kalamazoo Public Services Building, 415 E Stockbridge Ave
• Douglas & Son, 231 W Cedar St

Tickets are $15 each and are good for both days. When you visit each site it will be marked off on your ticket. Eight downtown restaurants are also offering discounts during the tour – just show your ticket to receive the discount!

You can follow Hidden Kalamazoo on Facebook and Twitter for updates or visit www.hiddenkalamazoo.com.