My wife Shelley and I were the resident managers

for the Marlborough back in the late "90's"



When Shelley and I were interviewed and unanimously chosen by the "search committee" which was made up of five tenants, we were then approved for hire by the multi-millionaire building owner from his yacht in the Caribbean. We didn't meet him until he got tired of cruising...which was three months later!


The Marlborough was a "secured" building. Which means...all visitors had to be both screened and approved. Shelley and I had a beautiful managers residence on the first floor right behind the office. I used to kid Shelley all the time, "Wow, what a commute you have! Open our front door, step into the office and sit down at your desk." Shelley ran the office and I took care of the building and grounds. It was certainly a very wonderful opportunity for both of us and all I can say is...this was one "classy" place.


Another big blessing for Shelley and I was that her sister Dee and Phil her husband, owned a home in the very small town of Hickory Corners which was in the country about 15 miles outside of Kalamazoo. Also our son Ryan was living and working in the Kalamazoo area at this time. So we had plenty of real quality time to spend with all of them. 


The Marlborough was built in 1923 as 75 luxury apartments. Then the building was bought in the 70's by a "multi-millionaire" developer. This owner completely gutted all of the apartment spaces, but the many common areas such as the lobby and halls and elevators were restored to maintain all of their original "classic" design. Doors, chandeliers, fireplaces and any stained glass were completely restored to their original beauty.


The developer then sold the space to buyers who could buy the amount of square feet they wanted on whichever of five floors and the particular location on that floor. The building has a very unique "H" design which offered a wide variety of choice. The floors are 20" thick concrete! Then the buyers would hire an architect to design...and a contractor to build. The units range from 700 to 3,000 square feet. After everything had been converted, 35 luxury condos were the result, "each of them with a unique personality."


The last condo (the model unit) was sold shortly after Shelley and I started managing. The buyer, a man in his late thirties, was absolutely thrilled! He told us that he had dreamed all his adult life of owning a condo at the Marlborough. A dream that had come true!


There is a beautiful roof deck and the building has its own private park. The Marlborough has its own parking area behind the building made up of spaces and individual garages.


For an "old" hustler as myself...there was a "full" size luxury "pool table" in the basement. It was fully stocked with everything you could possibly need. Believe me, my son and I took full advantage of this on many, many nights!


Another very unique feature of this building was that the whole lower level was commercial space. During the time that we were the managers...there were a couple of lawyers offices, a printing office, a psychiatrist office, an insurance office, an elevator company office, and so on. We had four different tenants who owned both a condo in the building and also a business on the lower level. Their commute consisted of a ride on the elevator! What a life!


Shelley and I used to always say how great it would be to own a little book store on the lower level and live in the second floor condo which overlooked the private park. This was a stunningly beautiful 3,000 sq. ft. condo with lovely views of the park. Our personal favorite!


I would describe our residents as the "cream of the crop!" All professional people. They were the Vice-Mayor, a couple of Federal Judges, Managing Editor of the local newspaper, a school Principal, several Professors, several artists, a play-write, a psychiatrist, restaurant owners, various business owners active and retired, a CPA, and on and see what I mean!


After working for a few months...and knowing that we were on-call for the nights and weekends...we began to notice that no one ever called us either at night or over the weekends. It was finally explained to us by several tenants, "You two do so very much for us everyday which you are not required to do according to your contract. So unless it is an emergency, we are not about to bother you two on your time off." Shelley and I loved helping to take care of them and their beautiful homes...and they were so appreciative.


With Shelley in the office they knew they always had someone they could talk to about anything. And being fairly "handy" I was always around if they had any needs large or small. While they were at work if they ever needed outside workers in their condo during the day, then either Shelley or myself would let the service people in and stay with them the whole time they were working. When the work was completed we would check everything, lock up and then notify the owner. They trusted they would get a phone call as soon and as often as there was a need.


Most of these people had expensive art work and jewelry and many other valuables to be concerned with. They said they never worried about anything knowing Shelley and I were there.




"Residents would love stopping by to pick up mail and chat with us when coming in from work."

"It was a daily routine which we enjoyed very much."



I wish I had some more pictures of a condo...but, not surprisingly there are none listed for sale at this time! The residents here become long-time residents. People dream of living here for years before the opportunity arises.





"Shelley and I on occasion would spend hours up here during the evening and into the night."




"I used to love mowing and clipping and trimming this beautiful little park."



When Shelley and I realized it was time to head back to Boston, and therefore put in our notice, what a reaction! Everybody from the building owner to the residents begged us to stay! One tenant who owned three businesses, walked into the office and told Shelley that based on how he had seen us manage the Marlborough, that we could pick which ever of his three businesses we wanted to manage and the job would be ours! And another resident offered us a business to run. We said thank you very, very much... but Boston is calling!


Over the years since we have stayed in touch with several of the tenants who still live there.


Wonderful memories!





Right close by are:

The Kalamazoo Institute Of Arts

Civic Theatre

Epic Center

Bronson Park

Public Library

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Pedestrian Only Downtown Shopping



Published by




     William F. Carawan

     "Poetry Guy"


All rights reserved

Boston, Massachusetts U.S.A.




I interviewed and hired a blue cow (see picture below) with a one of a kind attitude! Her name is Sally, although she says "sassy" is what most people call her...and I can understand why.


She recently arrived in the USA from a very tiny country called Kows'r'blu. In fact it is so tiny...that no one seems to know where it is located. Sally says its' one claim to fame is a small population (or herd) of blue cows which are not found anywhere else in the world. She says that makes her very rare and special! And I might add...seems to be the main cause of her attitude.


Sally has agreed to manage the "Comment Section" of my blog. She will get paid by commission based strictly on the tally of comments for that months' blog post. She seems to think that her attitude will be a big help in reaching that goal. And I can only imagine that it certainly will. 







This is your opportunity!


So, why don't you leave a comment?


I would love to know what you think.


Don't be shy...moooove me!

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Comments: 3
  • #1

    Laura (Saturday, 05 August 2017)

    What a beautiful building! Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time there . Thanks for sharing

  • #2

    Jean Lespinasse (Wednesday, 09 August 2017 07:03)

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  • #3

    Shelley (Thursday, 31 August 2017 13:48)

    As I read over this 'blog' from the past, enjoying all the beautiful photos posted along with it, such
    warm memories of a special time in our lives spent in Kalamazoo come rushing back.
    That enchanting "H" shaped building caught our attention first as we headed there for an interview.
    Then we were spellbound by the Lobby with a history that seemed as near as the present. I never
    expected to meet the board members with my jaw dropped open but I have a feeling I did, they were still very nice to us anyway! Words cannot describe the adventure of living in such a grand building but these photos go a long way in visually showing off the beauty inside and out. Our working there together will always be a treasure in our memory, like our own private photo caught in a moment of time. Bill and I enjoyed working there and getting to know the various residents was as wide a range as personalities could take one! Everyone was a hoot, a joy, a laugh, a real person we loved getting to know and help; also, as with personalities, came some challenges but
    resolutions opened the door to a fuller appreciation of us as managers and them as residents. It was a good and growing time for all. And downtown Kalamazoo, only a few steps away, was as lovely as a town could be. We had a wonderful experience while there but Boston was calling to us to return so we bid all goodbye and tucked our time there away as a pleasant memory...and we all know memories are as close as the air we breathe...Thank you Kalamazoo and the Marlborough!