Lansing, Michigan

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Lansing, Michigan
City, State Capital
City of Lansing
Michigan state capitol.jpg712 michigan hofj.jpg
Lansing skyline brobb 11 2009.jpg
Clockwise from Top Left: Cooley Law School Stadium, Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice, Downtown Lansing skyline, Michigan State Capitol
Flag of Lansing, Michigan
Official seal of Lansing, Michigan
Nickname(s): Capital City, L-Town, "The Heart of Michigan"
Location in Ingham County, Michigan[a]
Location in Ingham County, Michigan[a]
Lansing, Michigan is located in USA
Lansing, Michigan
Lansing, Michigan
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°44′1″N 84°32′48″W / 42.73361°N 84.54667°W / 42.73361; -84.54667Coordinates: 42°44′1″N 84°32′48″W / 42.73361°N 84.54667°W / 42.73361; -84.54667
CountryUnited States
CountiesIngham, Clinton, Eaton
 • TypeStrong Mayor-Council
 • MayorVirg Bernero (D)
 • City, State Capital36.68 sq mi (95.00 km2)
 • Land36.05 sq mi (93.37 km2)
 • Water0.63 sq mi (1.63 km2)
 • Urban158.2 sq mi (354.4 km2)
 • Metro1,714.6 sq mi (4,440.8 km2)
Elevation860 ft (262 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City, State Capital114,297
 • Estimate (2012[3])113,996
 • Density3,170.5/sq mi (1,224.1/km2)
 • Urban313,532
 • Metro464,036
 • CSA534,684
 • DemonymLansingite
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code48901-48980[4]
Area code(s)517
FIPS code26-46000[5]
GNIS feature ID1625035[6]
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"Lansing" redirects here. For other uses, see Lansing (disambiguation).
Lansing, Michigan
City, State Capital
City of Lansing
Michigan state capitol.jpg712 michigan hofj.jpg
Lansing skyline brobb 11 2009.jpg
Clockwise from Top Left: Cooley Law School Stadium, Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice, Downtown Lansing skyline, Michigan State Capitol
Flag of Lansing, Michigan
Official seal of Lansing, Michigan
Nickname(s): Capital City, L-Town, "The Heart of Michigan"
Location in Ingham County, Michigan[a]
Location in Ingham County, Michigan[a]
Lansing, Michigan is located in USA
Lansing, Michigan
Lansing, Michigan
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°44′1″N 84°32′48″W / 42.73361°N 84.54667°W / 42.73361; -84.54667Coordinates: 42°44′1″N 84°32′48″W / 42.73361°N 84.54667°W / 42.73361; -84.54667
CountryUnited States
CountiesIngham, Clinton, Eaton
 • TypeStrong Mayor-Council
 • MayorVirg Bernero (D)
 • City, State Capital36.68 sq mi (95.00 km2)
 • Land36.05 sq mi (93.37 km2)
 • Water0.63 sq mi (1.63 km2)
 • Urban158.2 sq mi (354.4 km2)
 • Metro1,714.6 sq mi (4,440.8 km2)
Elevation860 ft (262 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City, State Capital114,297
 • Estimate (2012[3])113,996
 • Density3,170.5/sq mi (1,224.1/km2)
 • Urban313,532
 • Metro464,036
 • CSA534,684
 • DemonymLansingite
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code48901-48980[4]
Area code(s)517
FIPS code26-46000[5]
GNIS feature ID1625035[6]

Lansing /ˈlænsɪŋ/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297,[7] making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684.

The Lansing Metropolitan Area, colloquially referred to as "Mid-Michigan", is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, commercial, and industrial functions. The area is home to two medical schools, one veterinary school, two nursing schools, two law schools—including Western Michigan University and Michigan State University—a Big Ten Conference university (Michigan State), the Michigan State Capitol, the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, a federal court, the Library of Michigan and Historical Center, and headquarters of four national insurance companies.

Lansing is the only U.S. state capital (among the 47 located in counties) that is not also a county seat. The county seat of Ingham County is Mason,[8] but the county maintains some offices in Lansing.[9]


The first recorded person of European descent to spot the area that is now Lansing was explorer Hugh Heward in 1790 while canoeing the Grand River.[10] The land that was to become Lansing was surveyed as "Township 4 North Range 2 West" in February 1827 in what was then dense forest. It was the last of the county's townships to be surveyed, and the land was not offered for sale until October 1830.[11] There would be no roads to this area for decades to come.

Grand River overlooking Lansing River Trail Bridge

In the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it "Biddle City". All of this land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during the majority of the year. Regardless, the brothers went back to Lansing, New York, to sell plots for the town that did not exist. They told the residents of the New York town that this new "city" had an area of 65 blocks, contained a church and also a public and academic square. A group of 16 men bought plots in the nonexistent city and upon reaching the area later that year found they had been scammed. Many in the group too disappointed to stay ended up settling around what is now metropolitan Lansing. Those who stayed quickly renamed the area "Lansing Township" in honor of their home village in New York.[12]

The settlement of fewer than 20 people would remain dormant until the winter of 1847 when the state constitution required that the capital be moved from Detroit to a more central and safer location in the interior of the state; many were concerned about Detroit's proximity to British-controlled Canada, which had captured Detroit in the War of 1812. The United States had recaptured the city in 1813, but these events led to the dire need to have the center of government relocated away from hostile British territory. There was also concern with Detroit's strong influence over Michigan politics, being the largest city in the state as well as the capital city.[12]

During the multi-day session to determine a new location for the state capital, many cities, including Ann Arbor, Marshall, and Jackson, lobbied hard to win this designation.[13] Unable to publicly reach a consensus because of constant political wrangling, the Michigan House of Representatives privately chose the Township of Lansing out of frustration. When announced, many present openly laughed that such an insignificant settlement was now the capital city of Michigan. Two months later, Governor William L. Greenly signed into law the act of the legislature officially making Lansing Township the state capital.[12]

With the announcement that Lansing Township had been made the capital, the small village quickly transformed into the seat of state government. The legislature gave the settlement the temporary name of the "Town of Michigan". In April 1848, the legislature then gave the settlement the name of "Lansing".[14] Within months after it became the capital city, individual settlements began to develop along three key points along the Grand River in the township:[12]

In 1859, the settlement having grown to nearly 3,000 and encompassing about 7 square miles (18 km2) in area was incorporated as a city. The boundaries of the original city were Douglas Avenue to the north, Wood and Regent streets to the east, Mount Hope Avenue to the south, and Jenison Avenue to the west. These boundaries would remain unchanged until 1916. Lansing began to grow steadily over the next two decades with the completion of the railroads through the city, a plank road, and the completion of the current capitol building in 1878.

Most of what is known as Lansing today is the direct result of the city becoming an industrial powerhouse which began with the founding of Olds Motor Vehicle Company in August 1897. The company went through many changes, including a buyout, between its founding to 1905 when founder Ransom E. Olds started his new REO Motor Car Company, which would last in Lansing for another 70 years. Olds would be joined by the less successful Clarkmobile around 1903.[16] Over the next decades, the city would see itself transformed into a major American industrial center for the manufacturing of automobiles and parts, among other industries. The city continued to grow in area too. By 1956, the city had grown to 15 square miles (39 km2), and doubled in size over the next decade to its current size of roughly 33 square miles (85 km2).[17]

Today, the city's economy is now diversified among government service, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, banking, and education.


Lansing, Michigan 1890
Historical population
Est. 2013113,972−0.3%
Michigan Supreme Court at the Hall of Justice, opened in 2002


Lansing is the centerpiece of a region of Michigan known as Mid-Michigan or Central Michigan.

The North Lansing dam of the Grand River. The Lansing River Trail and Ottawa Street Power Station are visible behind.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.68 square miles (95.00 km2), of which 36.05 square miles (93.37 km2) is land and 0.63 square miles (1.63 km2) is water.[1] This figure includes two 425 Agreements with Alaiedon Township and Meridian Township, and the four 425 Agreements with Delta Township since 2000.

Under Michigan law, 425 Agreements are only temporary land sharing agreements, and do not count as official annexations. The Census Bureau, however, for statistical purposes, does count these as annexations. Not counting the temporary 425 Agreements, Lansing administers 34.1 square miles (88 km2) total.

Lansing is located in the south-central part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, where the Grand River meets the Red Cedar River. The city occupies most of what had formerly been part of Lansing Charter Township. It has also annexed adjacent tracts of land in Delta Charter Township and Windsor Township in Eaton County to the west, Delhi Charter Township in Ingham County to the south, and in DeWitt Charter Township in Clinton County to the north. The city also controls three non-contiguous tracts of land through 425 Agreements (conditional land transfer agreements) with Meridian Charter Township, Delta Charter Township, and Alaiedon Township in Ingham County to the southeast.

Ottawa Street Power Station

Lansing elevations range between 890 feet (271 m) above sea level on the far south side of Lansing along Northrup Street near the Cedar Street intersection, to 833 feet (254 m) to 805.5 feet (246 m) above sea level along the Grand River.

The Grand River, the largest river in Michigan, flows through downtown Lansing, and the Red Cedar River, a tributary of the Grand, flows through the campus of Michigan State University. There are two lakes in the area, Park Lake and Lake Lansing, both northeast of the city. Lake Lansing is approximately 500 acres (2.0 km2) in size and is a summer favorite for swimmers, boaters, and fishermen. Michigan State University Sailing Club and the Lansing Sailing Club are located on Lake Lansing, where sailing regattas are hosted throughout the summer.

The city of Lansing operates a total of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) of parkland, of which 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) is parkland, 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) are golflands, and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) are cemetery lands. This figure includes the Waverly Hills Golf Course and adjacent Michigan Avenue Park, which are part of Lansing Township, but operated by the City of Lansing. The figure, however, does not include the Ingham County parklands within the borders of Lansing.[24]


Lansing has a typically Midwestern humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb/Dfa) that is influenced by the Great Lakes, and is part of USDA Hardiness zone 5b.[25] Winters are cold with moderate to heavy snowfall, while summers are very warm and humid. The monthly daily average temperature in July is 71.5 °F (21.9 °C), while the same figure for January is 23.4 °F (−4.8 °C); the annual mean is 48.21 °F (9.01 °C). On average, temperatures reach or exceed 90 °F (32.2 °C) on 8.8 days of the year and drop to or below 0 °F (−17.8 °C) on 10−11 nights.[26] Precipitation is generally greatest during summer but still frequent and significant in winter. Snowfall, which normally occurs from November to April, averages 51.1 inches (130 cm) per season, significantly less than areas to the west such as Grand Rapids as Lansing is relatively immune to lake-effect snows; seasonal snowfall has historically ranged from 16.6 in (42 cm) in 1863−64 to 97.2 in (247 cm) in 1880−81. The highest and lowest officially recorded temperatures were 103 °F (39 °C) on July 6, 2012,[26] and −37 °F (−38 °C) on February 2, 1868,[27] with the last −20 °F (−29 °C) or colder reading occurred on February 27, 1994; the record low maximum is −4 °F (−20 °C) on January 22, 1883, while, conversely, the record high minimum is 78 °F (26 °C) on August 1, 2006 and July 18, 1942.[26] Freezing temperatures in June are exceedingly rare and have not occurred in July or August since the 19th century; on average, they arrive on October 4 and depart on May 7, allowing a growing season of 149 days. The average window for measurable (≥0.1 in or 0.25 cm) is November 4 thru April 6.


Boji Tower, Lansing's tallest building, located downtown

The city's downtown is dominated by state government buildings, especially the State Capitol; but downtown has also experienced recent growth in new restaurants, retail stores and residential developments. Downtown Lansing has a historic city market that is one of the oldest continuously operating farmers' markets in the United States.[30] Upriver and north of downtown is historic Old Town Lansing with many architecturally significant buildings dating to the mid-19th century.[31] Directly south of downtown on the other side of I-496 along Washington Avenue lies "REO Town", the birthplace of the automobile in the United States, is where Ransom Eli Olds built factories along Washington Avenue. Ransom Eli Olds' home, which once overlooked the factories along Washington Avenue, was displaced by I-496.

Lansing is generally divided into four sections: Eastside, Westside, Northwestside, and the Southside. Each section contains a diverse array of neighborhoods. The Eastside, located east of the Grand River and north of the Red Cedar River, is the most ethnically diverse side of Lansing, with foreign-born citizens making up more of its population than any other side in the city.[32] The Eastside's commercial districts are located mainly along Michigan Avenue, and to a lesser extent along Kalamazoo Street. It is anchored by Frandor Shopping Center on the very eastern edge of the eastside.

The Westside, roughly located north, west, and south of the Grand River as it curves through the city, is sometimes regarded the city's most socio-economically diverse section. This side also contains Lansing's downtown area, though this neighborhood is often included as an area all its own. Outside downtown, this side is largely a collection of residential neighborhoods and is served by only one other commercial area along Saginaw Street. However, it also includes a small part of the Old Town Commercial Association.

The Northwestside, generally located north of the Grand River, with the city limits defining its north and western borders, is physically the smallest side of the city. This part of the city includes moderate-density residential areas and some green areas. North of Grand River Avenue, the main street of the side, lie warehouses and light industrial areas served by a major rail line that runs through Lansing. The most notable landmark of this side is Lansing's airport: Capital Region International Airport.

The Southside, usually described as the neighborhoods located south of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers and the I-496 freeway, is physically the largest and most populous side of the city. The area is largely residential in nature (south of Mount Hope Road near the northern edge), and is served by numerous commercial strips along Cedar Street, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Waverly Road, which run north/south. The large Edgewood District is located in the southernmost part of the Southside and is sometimes referred to as South Lansing. Though it is the largest area of the city by both physical size and population, it has often been regarded by Southside citizens as Lansing's most overlooked and forgotten area, as most of Lansing's attention in recent decades has been put into the revitalization of the city's historic core located mostly on small parts of both the East and Westsides.

The middle of the Southside—South-Central Lansing—contains the Old Everett Area. This location once contained the Everett School District and was annexed into the city in 1948.[33]

Genesee Neighborhood



Michigan's State Capitol in Lansing

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2010, there were 114,297 people, 48,450 households, and 26,234 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,174.9 per square mile (1,226.3/km2). There were 54,181 housing units at an average density of 1,505.0 per square mile (581.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 61.2% White, 23.7% African American, 0.8% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.3% from other races, and 6.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.5% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 55.5% of the population in 2010,[37] compared to 86.4% in 1970.[38] Foreign-born residents made up 8.3% of the population.

The median age in the city was 32.2 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.2% were from 25 to 44; 23.8% were from 45 to 64; and 9.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.[2]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 119,128 people, 49,505 households, and 28,366 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,399.0 per square mile (1,312.3/km²). There were 53,159 housing units at an average density of 1,516.8/sq mi (585.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.28% White (61.4% non-Hispanic White), 21.91% African American, 0.80% Native American, 2.83% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 4.54% from other races, and 4.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.0% of the population. The city's foreign-born population stood at 5.9%.

As of 2000, the city's population rose by 32,293 (27%) to 151,421 during the day due to the influx of workers.[39]

There were 49,505 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,833, and the median income for a family was $41,283. Males had a median income of $32,648 versus $27,051 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,924. About 13.2% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.2% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.

Immigration and refugee resettlement[edit]

The Brookings Institution has ranked Greater Lansing among the top 10 "medium-sized metropolitan areas" in the United States for refugee resettlement, with 5,369 refugees resettled from 1983–2004.[40] St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services handle the adult and unaccompanied minor resettlement processes, respectively, while other organizations, such as the Refugee Development Center, focus on providing educational and social support services to refugees in the Lansing area.[41] Nearby Michigan State University provides a source of volunteers for many of these programs.[42][43]


Municipal government[edit]

Lansing is administered under a mayor-council government, more specifically a "strong mayor" setup in which the mayor holds most of the city's administrative powers, such as appointment of department heads and drafting and administering a city budget, though the council must approve his/her actions. The mayor is elected at-large every four years. The city clerk is also elected every four years. The city council consists of eight members, and includes four members elected from the city's four wards, as well as four "at-large" members elected citywide.

Lansing City Hall & Lansing Police Department Central Precinct


The city largely supports the Democratic Party. It has not had a Republican mayor in office for more than a decade, and the last two mayoral elections have hosted only Democratic candidates.

State and federal representation[edit]

Lansing currently lies mostly within the boundaries of Michigan's 8th congressional district, which has been represented by Republican congressman Mike Rogers since 2001. The small portion of the city that extends into Eaton County is located in Michigan's 7th congressional district, which has been represented by Republican congressman Tim Walberg since 2011.

At the state level, Lansing is located in the 23rd district of the Michigan Senate, which has been represented by Democratic state senator Gretchen Whitmer since January 1, 2007. The small portion of the city that extends into Eaton County is located in the 24th district of the Michigan Senate, which is currently represented by Republican state senator Rick Jones. The city lies in the 67th, 68th, and 71st districts of the Michigan State House of Representatives, represented by state representatives Tom Cochran (D-67), Andy Schor (D-68), and Theresa Abed (D-71).

Though Lansing is not a designated county seat, some county offices are located in downtown Lansing, including a branch office of the county clerk, the county personnel office, and some courtrooms.


Top City Employers
Source: Lansing Area Economic Partners[44]
1State of Michigan14,249
2Michigan State University11,100
3Sparrow Health System10,858
4General Motors5,153
5Liberty National Life5,000
6Auto-Owners Insurance3,700
8Lansing Community College3,144
10McLaren–Greater Lansing Hospital2,400
11Lansing School District2,130
12Community Mental Health Authority1,400
13Dart Container1,400
14Jackson National Life1,300
15Demmer Corporation1,110
Lansing employment by market.png

Labor force distribution in Lansing by category:
  Trade, transportation, utilities
  Professional and business services
  Education and health services
  Leisure and hospitality
  Other services

The Lansing metropolitan area's major industries are government, education, insurance, healthcare, and automobile manufacturing. Being the state capital, many state government workers reside in the area.

Michigan State University, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and Lansing Community College are significant employers in the region.

General Motors has offices and a hi-tech manufacturing facility in Lansing and several manufacturing facilities immediately outside the city, as well, in nearby Lansing and Delta townships. The Lansing area is headquarters to four major national insurance companies: Auto-Owners Insurance Company, Jackson National Life, the Accident Fund, and Michigan Millers Insurance Company. Other insurers based in Lansing include Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan.

Locally owned and operated convenience store chain Quality Dairy is a significant presence in the Lansing market.

The recent decline of the auto industry in the region has increased the region's awareness of the importance of a strategy to foster the high-technology sector.

The Otto E. Eckert power plant along the Grand River, operated by the Lansing Board of Water and Light

Early availability of high-speed Internet in 1996, as well as the MSU, Cooley Law School, and Lansing Community College student body population, fostered an intellectual environment for information technology companies to incubate. Lansing has a number of technology companies in the fields of information technology and biotechnology.


Sparrow Hospital is a 740-bed hospital affiliated with Michigan State University and its College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine. In February 2009 it was announced that Sparrow and MSU formalized their partnership to increase research and faculty recruitment.[45] Sparrow Hospital is the Regional Center for pediatrics, cancer care, including radiation therapy, trauma care, neurological care, high-risk obstetrics and neonatal intensive care. The Sparrow Tower was finished January 2008 and includes but is not limited to: a dedicated pediatric emergency room (the only one in the region), the largest adult emergency room in the region, state-of-the-art operating rooms, a rooftop helipad, oncology center, heart and vascular center and orthopedic department. In addition, 4,500 deliveries are performed at Sparrow Hospital annually, rehabilitation, and emergency treatment is more than any other hospital in mid-Michigan. The Sparrow Health System Laboratory performs over 3 million tests per year, at various laboratory sites, which include four remote testing facilities and thirteen patient service centers. Sparrow Hospital is certified as a Level I Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.[46] In May 2009 Sparrow announced that it now has its own helicopter service based at its downtown Lansing hospital's new $2.5 million helipad.[47] The addition is expected to increase helicopter patient transport to the hospital from four a month to 400 a year.

McLaren–Greater Lansing Hospital is also a university affiliated teaching hospital. Ingham enjoys a special affiliation in radiation oncology with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University; McLaren–Greater Lansing is part of the Great Lakes Cancer Institute (GLCI). McLaren received five-star ratings for: Coronary bypass surgery; Cardiac interventions; Treatment of heart attacks; Total knee replacement; Total hip replacement; Back and neck surgery; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care; Community-Acquired pneumonia care.[48]

Urban renewal and downtown redevelopment[edit]

Several urban renewal projects by private developers are adding higher end apartments and condominiums to the Lansing market. The Arbaugh, a former department store across from Cooley Law School, was converted into apartments in 2005. Motor Wheel Lofts, a former industrial site, was converted into loft-style living spaces in mid-2006.[49] A combination retail and residential complex immediately south of Cooley Law School Stadium (formerly Oldsmobile Park) called "The Stadium District", was completed in 2007.[50] The Stadium District, was redeveloped using a grant from the Cool Cities Initiative.[51][52]

In May 2006 the historically significant Mutual Building located on Capitol Avenue was purchased by The Christman Company to be renovated back to its original grandeur and used as the company's headquarters.[53] Additional downtown developments include the renovation of the historic Hollister Building and the expansion of the former Abrams Aerial Building. As of August 2008, an 18-story condominium high-rise called Capitol Club Tower was in the design phase with the adjacent parking structure having been approved by city council and purchased by the developer. The city market, in existence since 1909, was approved to be sold for a multi-building mixed-use development called MarketPlace, right next to the current market on the adjacent riverfront. The MarketPlace project was redeveloped along with BallPark North, another mixed-use development that will be immediately north of Oldsmobile Stadium. The new city market is just north of the Lansing Center, across the river from where the Accident Fund Insurance Company renovated the former (art deco) Ottawa Street Powerplant into their new headquarters. In addition to the renovation, Accident Fund Insurance Company built a modern addition to the north of the historic portion that is connected by an atrium for more office space, as well as a parking structure. In 2009, the restaurant Troppo began construction on a new 2-story building that will have an open air patio on the roof facing the Capitol building.[54] Developer Eyde Co. announced plans on April 6, 2010, to renovate the historical and prominent Knapp's building in downtown Lansing for first floor retail, office space and apartments/condos on the top floor (5th) in a $22–24 million project.[22]

Top employers and companies headquartered in Lansing[edit]

Other major companies headquartered in Lansing include Accident Fund,, Biggby Coffee, Elderly Instruments, Fraser Trebilcock, Go Solutions Group, Inc., Hot 'n Now, ICS Marketing Support Services, Lake Trust Credit Union, Liquid Web, and Quality Dairy.


J.W. Sexton High School,
Westside Lansing
Everett High School,
Southside Lansing

Michigan State University, a member of the Big Ten Conference, is known as "the pioneer land grant college", located in neighboring East Lansing. MSU has the largest land campus in the United States and is home to several nationally and internationally recognized academic and research oriented programs. Michigan State offers over 200 programs of study and is home to fourteen different degree-granting schools and colleges including three medical schools, a law school, and numerous PhD programs. It is the only university in the nation with three medical schools. MSU is consistently one of the top three programs in the United States for study abroad programs. The MSU College of Education is also consistently rated as the top education program in the nation. Michigan State University is the oldest agricultural college in the United States. The MSU School of Criminal Justice is the oldest continuous degree granting criminal justice program in the nation.[55] In 2008, the Department of Energy announced MSU won the contest for a $550 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams that will attract top researchers from around the world to conduct experiments in nuclear science, astrophysics and applications of isotopes to other fields.[56]

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation and is located in downtown Lansing. Cooley is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. A majority of Cooley students are from out-of-state.

Lansing Community College offers more than 500 areas of study to over 18,000 students at its main facilities in Lansing, and another 5,000 students at twenty-nine extension centers and a site in Otsu, Japan. LCC's new, state-of-the-art University Center enables students to take courses with the goal of eventually earning an undergraduate or graduate degree from other Michigan institutions. The University Center stands on the former site of "Old Central", Lansing's first public high school, which was established in 1875 as Lansing High School. (In the 1920s it was renamed as Central High School, and in 1957 became the first building on the LCC campus.)[57]

Other institutions of higher education include Western Michigan University (branch campus in Delta Township), Davenport University in Downtown Lansing, Central Michigan University (branch campus), and Great Lakes Christian College (campus in Delta Township).

Eastern High School,
Eastside Lansing

Primary schools[edit]

Public schools
Private schools

In popular culture[edit]

The film Tape is set in a hotel room in Lansing.[64]

The film Tooth Fairy's main character, Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson), is a minor-league hockey player for the fictitious Lansing Ice Wolves.[65]

In the current continuity of DC Comics, Lansing is the hometown of Jay Garrick, the Earth-Two Flash.[66]



Each year in June, the Michigan Pride festival includes a gay pride parade from Riverfront Park to the capitol.

The Capital City African American Cultural Association hosts an African American Parade and Heritage Festival every year for over a decade. The chair of the CCAACA is the Rev. Dr. Michael C. Murphy, who was pastor of St. Stephen's Community Church and is currently the pastor of Peoples Congregational, United Church of Christ, Washington D.C. He is a former State Representative for the 68th House District in Michigan, former President of the Lansing City Council, and a long-time community leader. The parade highlights African American culture, its influence in Michigan, and recognizes prominent African American individuals in the community and their contributions to Lansing as the grand marshal of each parade. The festival immediately following the parade consists of live entertainment, soul food and lots of fun for adults and children. It is held every year on the first Saturday in August and begins at 11:00 a.m. in downtown Lansing, Michigan. The festival is held at Ferris Park in downtown Lansing. In 2009 they celebrated 10 years.

The annual Silver Bells in the City Electric Light Parade proceeds through the streets of downtown Lansing every November, the Friday before Thanksgiving. It is followed by the lighting of Michigan's official Christmas tree in front of the State Capitol and a firework show (weather permitting) over the State Capitol.[67]


The Lansing Symphony Orchestra has been entertaining generations of Lansing-area residents since 1929. The current music director is Timothy Muffett.

There are many bars and clubs in downtown Lansing and the surrounding neighborhoods. Bars and clubs in downtown include Macs Bar and The Loft (Music Halls), Suits, The Firm, Tavern on the Square, 621, Excel, The Exchange, Harem's, Rum Runners (dueling piano bar), Moriarty's, Nuthouse, Art's and The Green Door to name just a few. Many of these bars and clubs have live bands; The Green Door is a blues bar that has live bands 7-nights a week.[68]

The Lansing JazzFest and the Old Town BluesFest host leading musicians, and are two of the larger music festivals held each year in the state.

Old Town's Festival of the Moon and Sun is a two-day festival of food and live music.[69]

Old Town Oktoberfest is a two-day event drawing hundreds to the Old Town neighborhood for live polka music, authentic German food and world-renowned German-style beer.[70]

It was announced in May 2007 that the city would host "Blues on the Square", a series of summertime blues concerts featuring national acts Thursday nights along Washington Square in downtown Lansing. In 2008 the event regularly drew crowds over 500.[71]

The Common Ground Festival[72] is a musical event held over a week every July at the Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing pulling in crowds over 90,000 for the week. It began in 2000 and replaced the Michigan Festival that was held in nearby East Lansing. It has wide range of musical acts. In 2008 acts included Staind, Drowning Pool, Sammy Hagar, The Hard Lessons, Snoop Dogg, REO Speedwagon, Kellie Pickler, Seether and Trace Adkins.

Every year City Pulse names the "Top Original Act" in the Top of the Town Awards. The 2010 winner was Eastside neighborhood native indie rock band Loune.[73] The 2011 winner was pop punk act Frank and Earnest.[74]


Lansing Mall Cinema is closed as of July 10, 2014


Lansing is home to a number of small, specialized museums:

Farmers' markets[edit]

Farmers' market in Lansing

Lansing has several farmers' markets throughout the city in the summer months. These markets include the Allen Street Farmer's Market[84] on the city's eastside, the Westside Farmers' Market, the Old Town Farmer's Market, the South Lansing Farmer's Market,[85] and the year-round historic Lansing City Market[30] located near downtown. The Lansing City Market has built a brand new $1.6 million facility on the riverfront in downtown Lansing where it will continue its year round operations providing specialty items in addition to regular groceries from over 30 vendors.

Potter Park Zoo[edit]

Main article: Potter Park Zoo

The historic Potter Park Zoo, located along the Red Cedar River in Lansing, has more than 500 animals and numerous programs and events for children and families. With annual attendance increasing every year since 2006 (167,000 in 2009, compared to 137,236 in 2008 and 110,167 in 2006) there are $667,100 in capital improvements planned for 2009 including a giant walk-in aviary and a new female tiger. In 2009 the zoo began a $1.4 million renovation to its rhinoceros exhibit. This is in addition to $1.3 million spent on capital improvements in 2008.[86][87]


The Library of Michigan and Historical Center is a highly regarded state library and research center. The library is one of the top five genealogical research facilities in the United States. The Capital Area District Library has 13 branches within Ingham County, some of these include: The Main library downtown, the Foster Library on the east side, and the South Lansing Library on the south side.

Lansing Art Gallery[edit]

The Lansing Art Gallery, founded in 1965, is Lansing's oldest art gallery and a non-profit membership organization. Showcasing the works of Michigan artists, the gallery is committed to providing cultural enhancement opportunities for Michigan residents. The museum is open to the public with free admission.

Lansing Time Capsule[edit]

The Lansing Time Capsule, also known as the Lansing 150 Time Capsule Project, is currently in progress in Lansing as part of the Lansing 150 Sesquicentennial celebration marking the city's 150th birthday. The capsule will be enclosed within an art sculpture in downtown Lansing, to be opened in 2159 in the city's 300th year. The Lansing Time Capsule Committee convened in autumn of 2009 to set the list of objects to be included in the time capsule.

A film documenting the process, Encapsulating Time, was created by graduate students in the American Studies Program at Michigan State University. The film itself and a companion text will be included among the Time Capsule's objects. For more information about Encapsulating Time refer to the film wiki.[88]

Other area destinations[edit]

In October 2009 the Wharton Center for Performing Arts completed a 24,000 square feet (2,230 m2), $18.5 million expansion and renovation,[89] having already spent over $1.3 million in 2008.[90] Many Broadway shows come to The Wharton Center before traveling to theaters in larger places such as Chicago.[91] The Kresge Art Museum,[92] the MSU Museum,[93] and the Abrams Planetarium[94] are highly acclaimed cultural destinations located on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. In June 2007 MSU announced the plans to build a new art museum after a $26 million gift from Eli and Edythe Broad.[95] Internationally known Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid of London won the design competition for the East Lansing museum that was completed in November 2012.


Newspapers and magazines[edit]


Cable slots listed reflect the Comcast cable system in Lansing.

WILX maintains WSYM's News programming. Both affiliates broadcast their newscasts at the News 10 studios in Lansing. Often the same reporters are used on both broadcasts.


Lansing's radio dial has quite a few stations. Note: If the station has no city listed before the format, it is licensed to Lansing.

Radio stations from Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Saginaw, and Flint can also be heard in the Lansing area.


Lansing LugnutsBaseballMidwest League (Class-A)Cooley Law School StadiumLansingLugnuts PrimaryLogo.png
Lansing CapitalsBasketballIndependent Basketball AssociationAim High SportsLansingCapitals.png
Michigan State SpartansCollege athleticsBig Ten ConferenceVarious StadiumsMSUSpartans Logo.svg
Lansing Community CollegeCollege athleticsMichigan Community College Athletic AssociationLansing Community College logo.jpg
Lansing Derby VixensRoller derbyWomen's Flat Track Derby AssociationLansing Center
Lansing United[107]SoccerNational Premier Soccer LeagueArcher Stadium, DeMartin StadiumLansing United logo.jpg

The Lansing Lugnuts are a Class A Midwest League, Minor League Baseball team, currently affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. The team plays its home games at Cooley Law School Stadium, which was built at a cost of $12.7 million and opened in 1996 in downtown Lansing. It was partially renovated in 2006. Cooley Law School Stadium has a seating capacity of 11,215 fans, and was built to accommodate additional expansion. The team has won two Midwest League championships, their first in 1997 and their second in 2003. Previously known as Oldsmobile Park, the facility was renamed Thomas M. Cooley Law School Stadium in April 2010, in reference to the park's new sponsor.[108]

The Summit at the Capital Centre is a hockey arena and convention center located in the suburb of Dimondale that hosts youth and high school hockey.

The Lansing Capitals began play in the International Basketball League in 2006 but eventually disband for a few seasons. The team recently resumed playing in the newly formed Independent Basketball Association in 2011.

Michigan State University, located in East Lansing, is the largest university in the Lansing area. MSU sponsors both men's and women's sports, usually competing as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans have won National Titles in Men's Basketball, Football, Men's Boxing, Men's Cross Country, Men's Gymnastics, Men's Ice Hockey, Men's Soccer, and Men's Wrestling.

On November 27, 2011, MSU beat Northwestern in their Big Ten Football finale to secure the top Big Ten record at 7-1 in conference play, and qualified to play in the first ever Big Ten Football Championship Game which was held December 3, 2011, at Lucas Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana against the Wisconsin Badgers.[109]

Lansing Community College also sponsors many sports, competing as members of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. The Stars have won NJCAA titles in the following sports: Women's Softball, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Men's Cross Country, Women's Cross Country, Women's Marathon and Men's Marathon.

The Lansing area is also known for its many golf courses, with two courses owned by Michigan State University, four municipal courses, and many additional public and private courses in the area. Walnut Hills Country Club in nearby East Lansing formerly hosted the LPGA's Oldsmobile Classic from 1992 to 2000. The Michigan PGA recently relocated from the Detroit area to Bath, Michigan, which is on the northern edge of Lansing.

In the 1980s and 1990s Lansing was a major player in semi-pro football. The Lansing Crusaders won MFL/MCFL championships in 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, and 1990. The team finished second in 1984, 1986, and 1991.

Other past sports teams include:



Scheduled commercial airline service is offered from Capital Region International Airport (formerly known as Capital City Airport).[110] Delta Air Lines maintains routes to Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Atlanta. United Airlines maintains routes to Chicago O'Hare. Allegiant Air flies to Orlando, Florida. Sun Country Airlines offers non-stop flights to Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis/St. Paul,[111] Apple Vacations provides seasonal flights to Cancún, Mexico; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.[112] UPS has a freight hub at Capital Region International Airport making up part of the 42 million pounds of annual cargo moving through the airport.[113] In 2008 the airport received a port of entry designation – known as Port Lansing – and now has a permanent customs facility, thus changing its name to reflect the port of entry status.[114] The same year a 500-foot (150 m) extension to the largest of the three runways – now 8,506-foot (2,593 m) – was completed to allow for larger aircraft to use the airport.[115]

Major highways[edit]


Main article: Michigan Services

Public transportation[edit]



Water supply, power and steam are municipally owned utilities which are provided by Lansing Board of Water & Light. In 2008 the Lansing BWL constructed Michigan's largest solar array towards the goal of increasing renewable energy in the energy grid.[119]

Natural gas is provided by Consumers Energy.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

Lansing has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International: [122]

Lansing was a sister city of Kubyashi District in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The agreement began in 1992 and ended in practice when a change to the political structure of Saint Petersburg cancelled the district. The relations were officially severed by Lansing in 2013 as a protest of the laws against LGBT rights in Russia.[124]

Lansing has three "friendship cities":[125]


  1. ^ The city also extends into Eaton County along its southwest side. There are also two small non-contiguous tracts located in Ingham County. These sections are not highlighted on the map displayed as they are part of a 425 Agreement, meaning they do not officially count towards Lansing's area.
  2. ^ Official records for Lansing were kept in East Lansing from April 1863 to April 1948, Capital Region Int'l from May 1948 to July 1954, East Lansing again from August 1954 to April 1959, and again at Capital Region Int'l since May 1959. For more information, see ThreadEx.


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  16. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877–1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.25.
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  32. ^ Allen Neighborhood Center
  33. ^ Old Everett Neighborhood Association
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  36. ^ Westside Neighborhood Association,
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  68. ^ The Green Door
  69. ^ Festival of the Moon and Sun
  70. ^ Old Town Oktoberfest
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  72. ^ Common Ground Festival
  73. ^ Pulse, City S. "Top of the Town Awards- City Pulse". Best Music. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
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  76. ^ Lansing Civic Players
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  78. ^ Peppermint Creek Theatre Company
  79. ^ The Creole Gallery
  80. ^ Impression 5 Science Center,
  81. ^ Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing
  82. ^ Cooley Gardens
  83. ^ Turner-Dodge House
  84. ^ Allen Street Farmer's Market
  85. ^ South Lansing Farmer's Market
  86. ^ [5][dead link]
  87. ^ Rook, Christine. Potter Park scene bursts with birds, Lansing State Journal,, June 15, 2010, retrieved 2010-June-23
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  89. ^ Wharton Center opens newly expanded, renovated facility,, October 8, 2009
  90. ^ Capital Campaign,
  91. ^ No room in Chicago for hot shows
  92. ^ Kresge Art Museum
  93. ^ MSU Museum
  94. ^ Abrams Planetarium
  95. ^ Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
  96. ^ City Pulse
  97. ^ The New Citizens Press
  98. ^ Capital Gains Media
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  100. ^ The Greater Lansing Business Monthly
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  102. ^ The Hub
  103. ^ MIRS News-Michigan Information & Research Service
  104. ^ Gongwer News Service
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  115. ^ Dewitt Road Opens Friday Following Expansion Of Main Runway At Capital Region International Airport
  116. ^ CATA Ridership Sets New Records
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  119. ^ Brad Garmon (2008-12-17). "Top 10 of Green". Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  120. ^ Recker, Rachel (2009-01-09). "Gran Torino actress Ahney Her returns to Michigan for opening night". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]