LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Mark Huizenga’s resolution to request support and funding from the National Archives and Records Administration for the restoration of the reflecting pool and fountain at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.
“The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is one of West Michigan’s most important civic spaces and one of our greatest community assets,” said Huizenga, R-Walker. “It both connects residents and visitors to the lives of the president and Mrs. Ford and serves as a gateway to the American presidency, inspiring commitment to our shared democratic values and the type of active citizenship necessary for the health of our state and nation.”
Senate Resolution 84 notes that, “When the reflecting pool and fountain stopped operating in 2019, a special aspect of the Museum was lost, leaving an empty cement pool that visually detracts from the campus and downtown Grand Rapids. Many in our community think that now is the time to restore these important features as the 50th anniversary of President Ford’s call to service as our nation’s 38th president approaches.”
The reflecting pool and fountain are designed to be reminiscent of the reflecting pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and — at nearly 100 yards long — commemorates Ford’s football career as both a player and a coach.
“The reflecting pool and fountain are an integral connection between the museum and downtown Grand Rapids,” Huizenga said. “They are not just an extension of the design of the museum itself. They work as a mirror of President Ford’s hometown, allowing people to see themselves in both Ford and the presidency itself, symbolically continuing his representation of those in our community.”
Huizenga said SR 84 and subsequent support from the National Archives, will help the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation to engage the community for support and begin the work needed to restore the treasured museum’s reflecting pool and fountain.
Editor’s note: Sen. Huizenga’s Senate session remarks on SR 84 will be available at SenatorMarkHuizenga.com/video.