Lansing Performing Arts Center


I figured it's better to move this discussion to it's own thread.

The city announced the new performing arts center today, it will seat 1,530 and be located along Washington on the Lake Trust block. Construction is expected to costs about $21 million including apartments on the upper floors. No timeline is given for start or completion and there's talk of pursuing other grants and tax incentives along with securing financing for the apartment portion so this may still be a little ways off from getting started.

The design is somewhat interesting at least, but as with any interesting design it really will require good quality materials and construction methods to not look goofy. If our long awaited public performing arts center is built to same standards as all the cheap apartments around here I think I'm going to throw a fit. I'm obviously happy to see a performing arts center become reality but I can't say I'm impressed with what is proposed, I don't see why everything here has to be just barely good enough to be passable. I guess this is yet another project where it's a wait and see game to learn how it actually turns out, I don't want to be prematurely pessimistic.,19770?fbclid=IwAR0RwWxXDZOJnoUX9_T7xRGWjLxd-DnY67XxjHrONwbL-b0_CWAg_93bnSM



  • I don't want to be too pessimistic yet either, but Studio Intrigue's designs have been pretty lack luster and disappointing for years now. I'll just wait and see what comes as things develop further.

    I wish the area would start utilizing some larger architectural firms from GR or the Detroit area to get a higher caliber of design. The size and budget should interest enough of them. Sure, it's not huge but it's not exactly small either. The Lansing architecture firms that are left are just so disappointing, in my opinion.

    Regardless, it's exciting to see this project moving in the right direction. Just hoping for some decent architecture to accompany it.
  • It looks like they are including some of the streamline design found in the Knapp's building, this is an interesting feature, but the rest looks like the average so-so design. I am hoping this is an early depiction, perhaps to be improved. It is interesting that this depiction shows that little brick office building still standing. Are they planning on renovating that building? I wish they were planning on using the whole street front block of S. Washington, perhaps that area is slated for another project. But yea! this is a really great announcement. I think that the old bus station could be a great night club /restaurant site right across the street.
  • There is some more and better information on the new arts center in this week's City Pulse, with details like floor plans. It is going to include "artist housing" as part of the plan to bring more people downtown to live. I think that is cool, the place will have activity all the time, not just on show dates. Also, I just caught the end of the story, but I thought I heard that the mayor has unveiled a plan to renovate several city-owned buildings including the City Hall which are all the details I heard.
  • @gbinlansing Thanks, I didn't realize the print version had the floorplans, but that leaves me with even more questions. Why is the big blank walls at the corner of the building if that's a two floor lobby right there? Why not open that up to the street with some glass? I looked at this rendering for awhile and have now seen the floorplans to go with it, this (hopefully) preliminary design is atrocious. The upper floors appear to be corrugated metal panels. This is more appropriate for a city like Jackson or Muskegon, I wouldn't even be surprised to see this kind of thing in a place like Mason albeit with a smaller auditorium. It's not what I expect to see here.

    After looking at the floorplans and seeing the scale of the auditorium versus the apartments I think I'd far rather see the apartments omitted from this plan, there's no good reason for them to be there and they hinder the design possibilities. Regardless, I think it's clear that the city/developer need a new architect and need to go in a different direction.

    @Lymon89 Do you know for sure that this is Studio Intrigue or do you assume so because of the look?
  • edited February 2022
    The potential residential component - which isn't set, yet - is explained to help offset the operating expenses of the center. I don't think I'd personally want to live right above the auditorium. In my mind, you'd built it above the lobby, which would make for a taller building, anyway. Dayton did this with the Schuster Center, years ago:


    It is sad that we half-@ss, everything, which is why I wasn't looking forward to the news that the mayor is restarting the move of city hall.
  • @MichMatters Yeah, if they were building significantly more residential and going taller with I think it would make sense, but doing it the way they are is just goofy and it forces the city to become a landlord.

    Regarding the city hall thing, I just made a little rant on that over in city hall thread. And that was before I reread the article and they were specifically quoted as saying they would consider reusing an existing building for the new city hall to bring costs below that the remodel figure. Oh boy, this is gonna be one sad failure after another by the city, just like City Market. This has to stop. I gave up what could have been fantastic opportunities in life to stay in my hometown and my hometown is disappointing me at every turn. Maybe it's time to consider moving away finally.
  • @hood, Studio Intrigue had a release on LinkedIn a couple days ago with additional renderings and their logo on them...its safe to say it's Studio Intrigue. With the size of the project, I doubt they're partnering with any other firm either.

    Also, I know it's a different post, but I don't have much hope for City Hall. I'd much rather see the great local example of international style preserved, as City Hall. We won't get another quality building for City Hall if they build new. We'd be lucky if a developer rehabbed it instead of tearing it down and starting new.
  • I think if they went all in on the deco-streamline design [ the Knapp's building] like the marque some of entrances pictured it would be better than just references to the style. I do not like the several different pieces of the early "2K" design elements that this design group is stuck in, we do need something better. Lansing really has been half-assed with many projects since the late 60's, is it laziness? or just being cheap. When I look at something like a stone, and slate shingled pumphouse or Eastern High School or City Hall, I wonder where are the leaders, like the ones who build projects like those with the idea that Lansing is Michigan's Capital City, and it should be beautiful?
  • I could imagine there being a case where you could pull off a genuine an art-deco or art-modern building but it wouldn't be easy and I don't think that's what I'd go for here personally, it's certainly not gonna happen with Studio Intrigue.

    I have no idea why the city has been so conservative with investments in the city, I don't think we're in dire financial shape. Oldsmobile Park is about the only ambitious thing the city has done in many decades and it continues to drive the improvement of an entire new swath of downtown. Investing seriously in a more permanent and beautiful performing arts center, even if it means taking out another $10 or $20+ million in bonds, will pay dividends to the city for decades to come. Restoring the current City Hall will, dollar for dollar, be much better for the future of city government than any other option. To be fair, I haven't gotten involved in city government myself despite thinking I know better than those involved. I don't even go to meetings to speak and rarely do I write a politician. I guess I should go publicly voice my opinion before I complain too much.
  • A follow-up story from the City Pulse:,19778

    Not much more in the way of details but they do try to explain how they got to this point of such a severely downsized project although nothing in the article makes me feel much better about what was proposed. If we're going with this sort of downscaled venue as our "performing arts center" the absolute least they can do is make it look nice and build it to last.
Sign In or Register to comment.