On May 13, 1980, part of Kalamazoo did vanish.  A tornado ripped through town following West Main St. and Michigan Avenue right through downtown. One person was killed in the Norge Cleaner's on West Main, a motorcyclist was killed by a falling tree in Bronson Park, and three people were killed when the back wall fell off of the Gilmore Department Store on the Mall.  79 people were injured.  Though a disaster, the event did spark the urban renewal that continues today. Click on any thumbnail below to see previously unpublished photos taken minutes after the twister blew down Michigan Avenue. In the spirit of the disorder of the tornado, they are in no particular order!

augustine.jpg (53294 bytes) backdoor2.jpg (21654 bytes) gilmore2.jpg (22906 bytes) bronson2.jpg (29688 bytes) cekolas.jpg (20711 bytes)
bronson4.jpg (30443 bytes) bronson5.jpg (28911 bytes) bronson6.jpg (34749 bytes) bronson7.jpg (28046 bytes) bronson.jpg (29689 bytes)
car.jpg (59880 bytes) backdoor.jpg (22364 bytes) farmers2.jpg (27290 bytes) farmers.jpg (23339 bytes) bronson3.jpg (26974 bytes)
gilmore3.jpg (19506 bytes) gilmore5.jpg (26991 bytes) isb2.jpg (48241 bytes) hilton2.jpg (19943 bytes) trees.jpg (71394 bytes)
gilmore.jpg (23342 bytes) isb1.jpg (59340 bytes) isbside.jpg (25845 bytes) isb3.jpg (29875 bytes) hilton3.jpg (21500 bytes)
hilton.jpg (26490 bytes) isbsign.jpg (18437 bytes) isb.jpg (32796 bytes) mt-home1.jpg (53349 bytes) portage10.jpg (26126 bytes)
mave.jpg (37900 bytes) michave.jpg (21337 bytes) mall2.jpg (22111 bytes) mall.jpg (22454 bytes) prospect-house.jpg (65059 bytes)
michave2.jpg (25754 bytes) portage11.jpg (19783 bytes) portage.jpg (24300 bytes) okun.jpg (24040 bytes) sanitary.jpg (25851 bytes)
stewart.jpg (42935 bytes) stowe.jpg (57028 bytes) tornado-drake-church.jpg (27135 bytes) portage2.jpg (27073 bytes) wmain-cleanup-crew.jpg (63644 bytes)
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