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Historic Lansing photos


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I'm just begining to build a collection of historic Lansing photos, I hope to have more soon, when I do I will post them here. It's kind of interesting to see what used to be.

First, a shot looking east down Michigan Ave in 1930, none of the buildings on the right exist anymore.


An arial view of the Captiol Complex under construction in 1967, it would be nice to see this kind of thing going on again, the Treasury, Mennen and Transportation buildings are under construction along with the Lansing Towers apartments.


A night shot of the Capitol Complex in 1971, shortly after it's completion, looks very modern and clean.


An industrial shot of Cedar & Shiawassee in 1910, I don't beleive any of the noticeble buildings exist any more. I can't figure out exactly which way this is facing since there are no landmarks to go by.


A drawing of the REO plant in 1918, Washington Ave is running accross the bottom right.


A view of the REO buildings that faced Washington Ave in 1977.


A view of REO along the RR tracks in 1977.


A view of the Old Lansing City Hall (Left) and the Old Post Office (Right)


The Lansing School for the Blind as it used to be.


Lansing Central High School, now known as LCC's Old Central Building (has been "modernized")


Some unkown Lansing Factory shots, non currently exist :( , of course.




I hope to get more historic photos of downtown soon, to be specific the third Saturday of this month when the library has it's history section open.

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Wow...the whole REO Town area used to be an area onto itself. The factory was simply huge and you can tell by the footprint the area leaves today.

Also, the Cedar and Shiawassee shot is looking slightly northwest. You can see the Grand River and the rail bridge (now a pedestrian Bridge) in the upper left hand corner. I'm sure a few of those buildings are left though the picture if so fuzzy that I only see one I recognize. If you look near the bottom right you see a house with a crown. It's now a center for dyslexia.

Man, the area just west of the Capitol Complex has been completely leveled for parking lots. It's so sad.

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The razing of the REO Factory was more of a good thing for the area, it was abandoned and severly dilapidated at the time of it's destruction, it suffered from a major fire in 1979 and demoliton was completed in 1980. Every bit of that land from Cedar to Washington and from the tracks to Baker was solid factory, built right up to the sidewalk in most spots When driving south on Cedar, coming down the bridge, look on the ground on the west side of the street (by Oleary paint), that cement strip thats level with the ground was a retaining wall for Reo, thats how cramped it was.

The 6 block area that the origional Capitol Complex sits on was largly occupied by

mid rise apartments and rowhouses, some of the rowhouse strips were up to 1/2 block long according to maps, those are the main pictures I would like to see.

And as for Cedar & Shiawassee, do you mean northwest? I think I see it now pointing out that house helps. I think most of that was there quite recently, some was demolished for Olds Park and some for the Lansing Center.

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Is that first picture really looking east? It looks to me like the familiar view of the capitol looking west from Larch or Cedar.

I haven't lived in Lansing for 25 years, but if that view is of East Michigan Ave., when I lived there, it was Lansing's sleaze district (hookers, strip clubs, Joe Covello's Drag Bar, Rescue Mission "Jesusaves", etc.).

Enlighten me Lmichigan ...

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He simply mispoke. It's looking directly west.

The area you are speaking of is now Oldsmobile Stadium, as I'm sure you know, and the businesses along Larch and East Michigan are now cleaned up and revitalized. Most of the buildings have lofts above the storefronts now. The whole area is referred to as Pere Marquette Place by some. There is a small block of new construction condos along the railtracks north of Claras, but still much land to build on.

The Rescue Mission is still there and doing the good work it always has. It's an eclectic mix of businesses to say the least.

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  • 6 months later...

Some more historic photos/postcards:

LS & MS Depot - this was somewhere along Cedar Street, downtown. I can't really remember the old railroad configuration of the area, but it was somewhere in this area and demolished long ago.


Hollister Building before it was expanded and still known as the Hollister Block. This is the oldest remaining "high-rise" building of Lansing.


Fire Station #1 - This one looks like the current home of the Lansing Civic Players on East Michigan Avenue, but Station #1 would be the one downtown at Grand and Shiawasee. So, I'm not sure where this one is or if it still exists.


300 south block of Washington Square looking north. With the old Downey Hotel dominating the foreground.


100 south block of Washington looking north. Looks to be sometime in the 60's.


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The old Train Station would of been along Depot St., which is in almost the same spot as Museum Dr. going under the Lansing Center. It would of been near the Northwest corner of the Lansing Center. The depot was known as the Michigan Southern Depot and the New York Depot. It flooded a ot so the built The Union Station (Claras) to replace it, this one was tore down in 1938.

According to my book, the second fire station #1 (which is the one you have a pic of) was "at the base of Allegan Street, on Grand" basically where the S. Grand ramp is now.

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Yeah, no one ever expected Lansing would grow that far south. And when it did grow that far south, Logan Highway and Cedar Street had already taken away a lot of business on South Washington. I mean, it starts back up a Jolly, but just feels like any other street. And then, it ends abrutly again in Holt at a cornfield. A weird configuration. It's kind of like how Larch and Cedar start again in North Lansing after they seemingly merge into East Street.

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Yeah, the piece of East Street isn't too far from me. It runs behind the Sunset Market. I'm sure you know this, but North, East, South, and West streets are all named that because each was a border of the city, at a time. It's what I've always referred to as Lansing's Central Core or the old city. It was pretty much a perfect rectangle runing long along the river. West Street, though, is much newer than the other's, though. I can't seem to remember what street was the original western border of the city. It must have been Walnut, Chestnut, or Pine.

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