Originally constructed in 1914 when it was only a few stories and known as the Wonderly Building, the McKay Tower has served as a historic city landmark on the Grand Rapids skyline. Designed by architects with Owen-Ames Kimball, Co., McKay Tower originally served as a home to the Grand Rapids National Bank. In 1925, an additional twelve stories were added, plus two more mechanical floors in the early 1940s, effectively giving Grand Rapids a new tallest skyscraper. The Amway Grand Tower surpassed McKay Tower’s tallest skyscraper title when it was completed in 1983, and McKay Tower now holds the title of the fifth-largest building in Grand Rapids.
In 1942, notable businessman Frank D. McKay purchased the building from the bank and renamed the building after himself. McKay was a Republican activist and Michigan state treasurer who later willed the building to University of Michigan upon his death.
As the central hub of Downtown Grand Rapids, the McKay Tower is eighteen stories tall and currently offers many spaces for multi-functional use. 2013 renovations include lobby updating, the remodeling of luxury apartments on the fifteenth floor, as well as the revitalization of the former Grand Rapids National Bank on the second floor into a state of the art event space more commonly known as The Ballroom at McKay. McKay Tower also offers an expansive rooftop deck and lounge area for an unforgettable view of Downtown Grand Rapids.