Lansing History



  • I spoke with with the Parks Department during their "City Hall on the Road" event and essentially they told me that they haven't gotten the funds yet from the millage but once they do they will be rebuilding the staircase to Michigan Avenue on the South side and then repair the one by the Lansing Center (it very much needs it).

    They're actually having some public meetings to get input on how to spend the money. The one for North Lansing/Downtown is November 12th at 6:30PM at the Foster Community Center.
  • That is so great to hear, I hope they consider making it look nice. The Lansing Center stairs seem to have a bad gate you really have to watch your step there. I hope they plan a bike path up to Michigan Ave from the river trail. It could go up Museum Drive. Also there are really no bike racks there for parking.
  • edited October 2015
    Thanks, laew. For whatever reason, I think this would be the purview of the Public Service Department. Speaking of which, would I contact about why the on-street bike lane on Saginaw is currently construction coned off? I imagine that since this is on a street we're talking Public Service, but maybe Parks since it connects to the River Trail? Either way, I'm surprised I saw nothing on the Public Service department's facebook page about this (and it's not on Parks & Rec's facebook page, either) as they are usually pretty good at keeping folks updated. Stuff like this and the stairs on Michigan should definitely be made sure to be placed on local news.
  • For the Michigan Ave access to the rivertrail, I personally had been among chatter/involvement to possibly rebuild the stair and liven up the bridge itself but that's all I can really say. I'm not sure where it went for there. I haven't really heard any updates. Again, it had to do with funding more than anything.

    I agree though, something really needs to be done with both of those access points to Michigan Ave.
  • I was just wondering which city department this (the stairs) are part of.

    I'm not worried about the funding, at all, if this is the parks department. The city is going to get money from the county millage; the only question is how much will be allocated to city parks projects. I know the city really wants its residents to come out for this, but on population alone, Lansing projects are going to get a healthy chunk of this money. The cost of a project like this compared to the millions of dollars for things like expanding trails is a pittance. Maybe not a pittance enough that the city could afford it on its own, but enough that even just a really base alllocation of the millage based on population would easily fund this, I'd think.
  • I love the river trail and it is good to hear that Lansing will be getting a far share of the parks and trails millage. I believe that investment in the downtown part of the trail will be returned by people using it, maybe even stopping to spend some money. I walked down to old town for the [most non-German ever] Oktoberfest and that part of the trail is really pretty on warm sunny evening with kids playing, people fishing, and boating.One part I never understood is the fish ladder or have I ever seen a fish using it. The stained cement is kind of ugly and the design is very "what is this suppose to be". Here is what it could be, divert river water over the blocks and the circular wash that has the water channel just at the bottom, as sort of a rolling water fall flowing into the "fish" channel. The river water gushing over the blocks and wash would cause allege and water plants to grow on the cement covering the gray with green and providing a home to tiny aquatic animals. It kind of looks like the design might have had that kind of thing in mind.
  • The city's throwback thursday this week shows the construction of the Lansing House Hotel (later Hotel Downey) at the southwest corner of Washtenaw and Washington where the Knapps Center now stands. This picture was taken in 1865 or 1866; this would have been just months near or after the end of the Civil War.


    The city's public service department's tbt is another one looking west down Grand River (then Franklin) in North Lansing/Old Town. The picture drawn in 1850 shows the bridge over the Grand before it was covered with the most prominent feature again being Northern Presbyterian at Washington and Grand River.

  • edited October 2015
    The Throwback Thurdsay for the week is a view looking northwest from Allegan up Washington. The photo was taken around 1870. I can almost smell the horses from here. lol

  • The city's throwback thursday is looking north-northwest over the the 100 block of West Michigan Avenue. City Hall would be in the foreground. In the distance is Old Central, Lansing's and I believe the first church building for the First Baptist Church at the corner of Capitol and Ionia.


    Old Central was eventually incorporated into Lansing Community College where they took off all of the ornamentation and built around it. Here is a picture I took years ago of its destruction in 2006 for the parking lot of the new University Center.

    174850131_ee6e8453d3_z.jpg?zz=1Old Central Demolition 6-25-2006 by NewCityOne, on Flickr
  • Today is a good day to think about what is French about Michigan. Michigan was a part of France for over 140 years. French was commonly spoken here until the mid 19th century. The explorers, traders, and settlers left us with the sound of French that we still hear everyday when we say the names of our cities towns villages,our streams rivers and lakes, our islands and landmarks. Thousands of Michiganders fought for freedom in France in the wars of the last century, thousands rest there still. We should think about what is French about Michigan, and be grateful, we should think about what is French about the World and be grateful. The Capital City of Michigan stands with The Capital City of France.
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