Robert Warren Center

540 WILLIAMS STREET
South Haven, Mich.

**Update!  Foundry Hall is no longer renting the office space at the Warren Center offices.

You will be able to find us most reliably online and contact us via email at foundryhall@gmail.com or leave us a message on our google voice phone 269-220-0444.

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Foundry Hall’s Song Swap and Hymn Sing programs take place at the Robert Warren Center, on the first floor of the River Terrace apartment building. Foundry Hall offers occassional performances in the Warren Center community room as well as on the sunny patio overlooking the Black River.  The Warren Center is near the intersection of Williams Street and Dyckman Avenue, by the drawbridge. Park and enter from Williams Street.

Performances at the Warren Center

Warren Family Trio Jan 2015
Warren Family Trio Jan 2015

 

Corn Potato String Band March 2015
Corn Potato String Band March 2015

About Robert Warren

Robert Warren at piano
Robert Warren

Robert “Bob” Warren was the fourth of five children, born on 8 February 1931 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Graduating from Battle Creek High School in 1949, Robert served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1953. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Robert attended Western Michigan University and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music in 1958. In 1959, he married Esther M. Lamb, a native of South Haven.

Mr. Warren’s teaching career began in Marcellus, Michigan, as history teacher and band director. He went on to be orchestra director and string instrument instructor at Port Clinton, Ohio for the next five years.

During this period, Robert became one of the first in the United States to incorporate the Suzuki Method in teaching young people how to play string instruments. The Suzuki Method, named after its developer Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, enabled very young musicians to play string instruments before learning to read music. The Warren family hosted Dr. Suzuki and his wife in their Port Clinton home in 1965. The Suzuki Method is widely used in the United States today.

Robert Warren w/ dance band
Robert Warren w/ dance band
Robert Warren in Kalamazoo Symphony
Robert Warren in Kalamazoo Symphony

Robert moved his family to South Haven, Michigan in 1966 in order to take a position as orchestra director and string instructor in the South Haven Public Schools. During his teaching and musical career, Mr. Warren also taught courses at the Lake Michigan Community College in Berrien County and at Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. He played string bass in the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, and Jackson Symphonies. In addition, he played bass in a number of dance bands in Michigan and Ohio.

Robert Warren - South Haven city councilman
Robert Warren – South Haven city councilman

In 1971, Robert Warren successfully ran as a candidate for the Third Ward City Council seat. Robert was later re-elected and continued to serve the community until his death. During his time in office, Robert served on the Parks and Recreation Committee, the Bicentennial Committee, the Planning Commission, the Community Development Committee, and the Housing Commission. Mr. Warren was instrumental in the creation of a joint recreation program sponsored by the city and the public school system.

Of great concern to Robert Warren were the needs of senior citizens. His desire to see more housing and facilities for seniors was well known to family, friends, and colleagues. As city councilman, he led a drive in the community to acquire more housing for seniors in the South Haven area. These, efforts, however, were cut short by a fatal auto accident on 10 June 1978.


About the Robert Warren Center

Robert Warren plaqueSome time after Robert Warren’s death, the City of South Haven proposed the construction of a 49-unit elderly housing project that is now known as River Terrace Apartments. A community senior center was included — in response to a growing need for a facility to serve all of the seniors in the community. On 25 February 1980, the South Haven Housing Commission voted in favor of naming the planned community senior center in honor of Robert Warren for his hard work and dedication in furthering the well being of the senior citizens of this community.

During the early 1990’s, the South Haven Housing Commission started the South Haven Area senior Services (SHASS) organization. SHASS was an independent, 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity, created to serve an increasing number of seniors in the South Haven area. In the ensuing years, SHASS experienced tremendous growth, and now serves all Van Buren County as Van Buren County Senior Services. As a result, Senior Services outgrew their home at the Robert Warren Center, and elected to move to a new location on 76th Street, beginning on 1 March 2014.

From its original construction, through today and for many years into the future, the Robert N. Warren Senior Community Center is dedicated to promote an environment of humor, warmth, understanding, and patience for all seniors, their families, and friends.

For more information about the Robert Warren Senior Community Center, please contact the South Haven Housing Commission office at 220 Broadway, South Haven, MI 49090, or phone (269) 637-5755.