Q. Are the Lamp Post Plaza and Lamp Post Inn named for a lamppost of some specific significance? Was there an amazing (or not so amazing) lamppost that once graced that area, or was this just a name that a developer thought up years ago?

A. There is no evidence of a celebrated lamppost in the area before the Lamp Post Motel arrived in October 1957. (The name changed to “Inn” many years later.) The developers provided their own landmark, a fifty-foot-high lamppost sign. Now better remembered for its Modern designs, the Fifties also saw an appreciation for vintage styles, and the design for the motel was termed “Old Williamsburg Colonial.” A lamppost fit that theme.

The Lamp Post Plaza shopping center followed in 1962, with a Wrigley’s supermarket as the anchor tenant. Plans for a much larger center had been proposed, but as homes went up nearby, there were concerns about traffic. Wrigley’s later served as Whole Foods’ first Ann Arbor toehold, and is now Trader Joe’s.

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