The world is small and good. Social media and the internet is pretty great.
Years ago, my husband worked for Monsanto/Searle/Pharmacia. He made drugs. The entity was acquired by Pfizer, so we moved to Kalamazoo for his career. I also worked for Pfizer and had an office in Building 88 in Kalamazoo, which was a modernist gem. Didn’t spend enough time there because I traveled too much.
The building was torn down a few years ago, and I wrote about it.
Just yesterday, someone sent me this note:
What a joy to have found you. I was recently in Kalamazoo, MI driving along Portage Road. I looked out the window and said: “Building 88 is gone!.”
Today on the Internet I found your article about said building. My dad spent his entire working life employed by The Upjohn Company. He worked in the basement of Building 41 and was Vice President of Personnel. He started after graduate school, went into the Army during World War II, and then came back to Upjohn until his retirement in the 1980’s.
I was in Building 88 a few times, including lunch. It was ahead of its time and a tribute to the era of 1950 and 1960’s America. It would not appeal to all but it was done very well by the architects and builders.
Those were the days. Upjohn had its own fleet of buses for employee transportation to and from work.
They had barbershops, subsidized cafeterias, on-site pharmacy (you could buy a 16 oz bottle of vanilla extract for cooking purposes), an outdoor picnic area and so on. There was the veterinary unit, the agricultural unit, the expansion into Puerto Rico. The fleet of corporate aircraft. The Unipet dog treats in the ceramic bowl with bell ringing lid.
Many small and medium-sized cities are never the same after a local iconic company merges or is taken over by entities out of town.
Got any good Dorothy Dalton stories? How about Sue Parish’s pink WWII P 40 Warhawk?
One could not be a Kalamazoo resident and not have in their home a supply of Kaopectate and a supply of Unicap vitamins.
One last unique place and thing related to Upjohn. Brook Lodge
Thanks for listening. Best of luck with your career.
I love how the son of a VP of personnel found my blog and reached out. What a joy.
The internet is pretty great. Don’t let the naysayers tell you otherwise.
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