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Lansing ( ) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Michiganmarker, and the state's sixth largest city. It is located about 80 miles (125 km) west-northwest of Detroitmarker and is mostly in Ingham Countymarker, although small portions of the city extend into Eaton Countymarker. As of the July 1, 2008 Census Bureau estimate, it has a population of 113,968 and a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) population of 454,035. The even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee Countymarker, is estimated at 524,915.

The Lansing metropolitan area, colloquially referred to as "Mid-Michigan", is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, business, and high-tech manufacturing institutions, including three medical schools (two human medicine and one veterinary), two nursing schools, two law schools including the nation's largest law school, a Big Ten Conference university (Michigan Statemarker), the state capital, the state Supreme Courtmarker and 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 44 located in counties) that is not also a county seat. The county seat of Ingham County is Masonmarker, but the county maintains some offices in Lansing.


The area that is now Lansing was originally spotted by explorer Hugh Henward in 1790 while canoing the Grand River. The land that was to become Lansing was surveyed in 1825 in what was then dense forest. There would be no roads to this area for decades to come.

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 New York, specifically Lansing, New Yorkmarker, to sell plots for the town that did not exist. They told the residents of Lansing, New York 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.

The sleepy 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 centralized and safer location in the interior of the state since many were concerned about Detroit's close 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. In addition, 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.

During the multi-day session to determine a new location for the state capital, many cities, including Ann Arbormarker, Marshallmarker, and Jacksonmarker, lobbied hard to win this designation. Unable to publicly reach a consensus due to 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, the governor William L. Greenly signed into law the act of the legislature officially making Lansing Townshipmarker the state capital.

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". Within months after it became the capital city, individual settlements began to develop along three key points along the Grand River in the township.

"Lower Village/Town", where present-day Old Town stands, was the oldest of the three villages. It was home to the first house built in Lansing in 1843 by pioneer James Seymour and his family. Lower Town began to develop in 1847 with the completion of the Franklin Avenue (now Grand River Avenue) covered bridge over the Grand River.
Michigan State Capitol

"Upper Village/Town", where present-day REO Town stands at the confluence of the Grand River and the Red Cedar River. It began to take off in 1847 when the Main Street Bridge was constructed over the Grand River. This village's focal point was the Benton House, a 4-story hotel which opened in 1848. It was the first brick building in Lansing and was later razed in 1900.

"Middle Village/Town", where downtown Lansing now stands, was the last of the three villages to develop in 1848 with the completion of the Michigan Avenue bridge across the Grand River and the completion of the temporary capitol building which sat where Cooley Law School stands today on Capitol Avenue in between Allegan and Washtenaw Streets, and finally the relocation of the post office to the village in 1851. This area would grow to become larger than the other two villages up and down river. For a brief time the combined villages were referred to as "Michigan" but was officially named Lansing in 1848.

In 1859, the settlement having grown to nearly 3,000 and encompassing about 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 company REO Motor Car Company, which would last in Lansing for another 70 years. Olds would be joined by the less successful Clarkmobile around 1903. Over the next decades, the city would see itself transformed into a major American industrial center for the manufacturing of automobiles and automobile parts among other industries. The city continued to grow in area too. By 1956, the city had grown to , and doubled in size over the next decade to its current size of roughly .

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


Lansing, MI 1890

  • 1825 โ€“ Lansing Township surveyed.
  • 1836 โ€“ A pair of New York speculators plot and market a non-existent city known as "Biddle City." The New Yorkers that bought into the idea arrive in Lansing to discover that the plots they had bought are located in a marsh, and are underwater. Some of the pioneers stay, but develop a village in what is now Old Town Lansing a mile north of the non-existent "Biddle City."
  • 1847 โ€“ The state capital moved from Detroitmarker to Lansing Township.
  • 1855 โ€“ Michigan State Universitymarker is founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan.
  • 1859 โ€“ The city of Lansing officially incorporated with about 3,000 citizens inside of .
  • 1879 โ€“ New State Capitolmarker dedicated. The structure cost $1,510,130.
  • 1881 โ€“ Michigan Millers Insurance Company founded.
  • 1897 โ€“ Ransom E. Olds drives his first car down a Lansing street. Later that year he founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company, which became the Oldsmobile division of General Motors in 1908, and he was also the founder of the REO Motor Car Company in 1904, both headquartered in Lansing.
  • 1904 โ€“ The "most extensive flood in 135 years of local history" causes the Grand River to overflow its banks in March 24โ€“27, leading to major damage and one death. Bridges at Logan Street, Kalamazoo Street, Cedar Street and Mt. Hope Road are all washed away. The Kalamazoo St. bridge lodges against the Michigan Avenue bridge; it is later salvaged and re-erected at Kalamazoo Street.
  • 1910 โ€“ The population of the city nearly doubles from the 1900 census to 31,229.
  • 1912 โ€“ The Accident Fund Insurance Company of America founded.
  • 1916 โ€“ Auto-Owners Insurance Company founded.
  • 1929 โ€“ The Lansing Symphony Orchestra founded.
  • 1940 โ€“ Lansing's population stagnates, only rising by 356 over the decade to 78,753.
  • 1954 โ€“ Frandor Mallmarker opens โ€“ first in the area, and second in the state.
  • 1956 โ€“ The city reaches in size.
  • 1957 โ€“ Lansing Community College founded.
  • 1960 โ€“ The city's population finally breaks the 100,000 mark at 107,807.
  • 1961 โ€“ Jackson National Life Insurance Company founded.
  • 1965 โ€“ The city reaches in size.
  • 1970 โ€“ Lansing reaches its peak population of 131,546.
  • 1972 โ€“ The Thomas M. Cooley Law School founded.
  • 1980 โ€“ Lansing's population declines for the first time losing 989 to hit 130,414.
  • 1987 - The Sesquicentennial is celebrated in Lansingmarker
  • 1989 โ€“ The Library of Michigan and Historical Center near the Capitol Complex dedicated.
  • 1992 โ€“ The Michigan State Capitol completes an extensive renovation to restore it to its original grandeur.
  • 1998 โ€“ Mayor David Hollister signs a 425 Agreement with Alaiedon Townshipmarker in September to facilitate the development of the headquarters of Jackson National Life Insurance Company.
  • 1999 โ€“ Mayor David Hollister signs a 425 Agreement with Meridian Townshipmarker in November to facilitate the development of the Governor's Collection/College Fields upscale housing development and golf course.
  • 2000 โ€“ Lansing's population experiences its greatest drop in its history, falling over 6% over the preceding decade to 119,128.
  • 2001 โ€“ GM opens new assembly plant, Lansing Grand River Assemblymarker. Builds the Cadillac CTS, STS, SRX and V-Series. The architecture of the assembly plant resembles a high-tech research facility instead of a traditional factory.
  • 2002 โ€“ The Hall of Justice (Michigan Supreme Courtmarker building) at the West-end of the Capitol Complex is dedicated.
  • 2004 โ€“ Last Oldsmobile rolls off the assembly line at Lansing Car Assembly on April 29. This same year the Thomas M. Cooley Law School becomes the largest law school in the nation.
  • 2005 โ€“ Mayor Tony Benavides signs a series of three 425 Agreements with Delta Townshipmarker and General Motors facilitating the development General Motors' Lansing Delta Township Assemblymarker Plant.
  • 2006 โ€“ GM opens state of the art facility in nearby Delta Charter Township. As with the 2001 assembly plant built in Lansing, the Delta plant resembles a high-tech research facility and not a traditional factory.
  • 2008 - Accident Fund Insurance Company of America announces the renovation of the Ottawa Street Power Stationmarker and addition of modern buildings connected by an atrium for their new headquarters.
  • 2009 - Construction begins on the new Lansing City Market along the Grand River and the river trail in downtown Lansing.
  • 2009 - Auto-Owners Insurance Co. announces it will invest $105.3 million into expanding it's Lansing headquarters and adding 800 new jobs.


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

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which of it is land and (0.57%) of it is water. This figure includes two 425 Agreements with Alaiedon Townshipmarker and Meridian Township, but not 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 total.

Lansing is located in the south central part of the lower peninsula 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 Townshipmarker in Eaton County to the west and Delhi Charter Townshipmarker in Ingham County to the south. 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.

The Ottawa Street Power Station

Lansing elevation ranges between above sea level on the far south side of Lansing along Northrup Street near the Cedar Street intersection, to to above sea level along the Grand River because of the two dams along the river.

The Grand River, the largest river in Michigan, flows through downtown Lansing; and the Red Cedar River, a tributary of the Grand River, flows through the campus at Michigan State University. There are two lakes in the area, Park Lake and Lake Lansingmarker, both northeast of the city. Lake Lansing is approximately 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 of parkland, of which is parkland, are golflands, and 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.


Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High ยฐF (ยฐC) 66 (18.8) 69 (20.5) 79 (26.1) 86 (30) 94 (34.4) 99 (37.2) 100 (37.7) 100 (37.7) 97 (36.1) 89 (31.6) 77 (25) 69 (20.5)
Norm High ยฐF (ยฐC) 29.4 (-1.4) 32.6 (0.3) 43.5 (6.4) 56.6 (13.6) 69.4 (20.7) 78.1 (25.6) 82.1 (27.8) 79.7 (26.5) 72 (22.2) 59.8 (15.4) 46 (7.7) 34.1 (1.2)
Norm Low ยฐF (ยฐC) 13.9 (-10.05) 15.4 (-9.2) 24.3 (-4.3) 34.5 (1.4) 44.8 (7.1) 54.3 (12.4) 58.4 (14.6) 57 (13.4) 48.9 (9.4) 38.6 (3.6) 30.1 (-1.05) 19.7 (-6.8)
Rec Low ยฐF (ยฐC) -29 (-33.8) -25 (-31.6) -15 (-26.1) -2 (-18.8) 19 (-7.2) 30 (-1.1) 37 (2.7) 35 (1.6) 22 (-5.5) 15 (-9.4) 4 (-15.5) -18 (-27.7)
Precip in (mm) 1.61 (40.9) 1.45 (36.8) 2.33 (59.2) 3.09 (78.5) 2.71 (68.8) 3.6 (91.4) 2.68 (67.1) 3.46 (87.9) 3.48 (88.4) 2.29 (58.2) 2.66 (67.6) 2.17 (55.1)


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. Upriver and north of downtown is historic Old Town Lansing] with many architecturally significant buildings dating to the mid-1800s. 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. 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 suburban areas and some more rural 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 Airportmarker.

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 suburban 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.


  • Allen Street
  • Churchill Downs
  • Colonial Village
  • Stadium District
  • Edgewood
  • Genesee
  • Gier Park
  • Hosmer
  • Old Town
  • REO Town
  • Washington Square
  • Westside


Michigan's State Capitol in Lansing
As of the census 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/kmยฒ). There were 53,159 housing units at an average density of 1,516.8/sq mi (585.6/kmยฒ). 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.

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.


Municipal government

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 an elected every four years. Lansing is different from most U.S. cities in that its eight-member city council includes four members each elected from one of four wards, as well as four "at-large" members elected citywide. The reasoning behind this system is that while each ward of the city gets its own representation, the at-large councilmembers serve as a voice for often- underrepresented neighborhoods in those wards.

Lansing City Hall & Lansing Police Department Central Precinct

The current mayor is Virgil Bernero, who took office on January 1, 2006.

The city clerk is Chris Swope.

The city council members are:
  • Eric Hewitt (1st Ward)
  • Sandy Allen (2nd Ward), Tina Houghton will take office January 1, 2010
  • A'Lynne Robinson (3rd Ward and Council Vice President)
  • Tim Kaltenbach (4th Ward), Jessica Yorko will take office January 1, 2010
  • Kathie Dunbar (at-large)
  • Brian Jeffries (at-large)
  • Derrick Quinney (at-large and Council President)
  • Carol Wood (at-large).


The city finds itself wedged between the Conservative politics of Western Michigan, and the more Liberal politics of Eastern Michigan. The city has not had a Republican mayor in office for more than a decade, and the last two mayoral elections have hosted all Democratic candidates.

State and federal representation

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 Countymarker is located in Michigan's 7th congressional district, which has been represented by Democratic congressman Mark Schauer since 2009.

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 Patricia L. Birkholz. The city lies in the 67th, 68th, and 71st districts of the Michigan State House of Representatives, represented by state representatives Barb Byrum (D-67), Joan Bauer (D-68), and Rick Jones (R-71).

Despite Lansing not being a designated county seat, many county offices and courts are still located within downtown Lansing, including the county circuit court.


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.

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.
  • An initiative called Prima Civitas, created by Michigan State University, in cooperation with the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, under the direction of former Lansing mayor David Hollister, is spearheading focused economic development in the technology sector in the region.
  • Early availability of high-speed Internet in 1996, as well as the MSU, Cooley Law School, and LCC student 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.
  • Emergent BioSolutions is an international biopharmaceutical company that maintains significant operations in Lansing. Emergent BioSolutions is developing an array of biodefense and commercial products and currently manufactures the only FDA approved anthrax vaccine at its Lansing operations. In March 2009 Emergent announced another $10.9 million investment in its Lansing facility and is adding 93 new employees.
  • Neogen is an international food and animal safety and diagnostics company headquartered in Lansing.
  • IBM announced in January 2009 that it was opening its first U.S. programming center in the former MSU Federal Credit Union headquarters in East Lansing for application software for governments, universities, etc.
  • Liquid Web, the largest web hosting company in Michigan, moved into it's new $80 million Lansing headquarters (third facility in Lansing) in November 2009 and announced that it would hire 600 new employees over the next 3โ€“4 years.


Sparrow Hospitalmarker is a 740 bed hospital and is 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. 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. 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. The addition is expected to increase helicopter patient transport to the hospital from four a month to 400 a year.

Ingham Regional Medical Center is also a university affiliated teaching hospital. Ingham enjoys a special affiliation in radiation oncology with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University; Ingham is part of the Great Lakes Cancer Institute (GLCI). Ingham 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.

Urban renewal and downtown redevelopment

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, an industrial site, will be converted into loft-style living spaces in mid-2006. A combination retail and residential complex to the south of Oldsmobile Parkmarker baseball stadium called "The Stadium District", was completed in 2007. The Stadium District, immediately south of Oldsmobile Parkmarker in Lansingmarker, was redeveloped using a grant from the Cool Cities Initiative.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. 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 is in the design phase with the adjacent parking structure already 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 that will be built after a new city market is built by 2009, right next to the current market on the adjacent riverfront. The MarketPlace project is being developed along with BallPark North, another mixed-use development that will be immediately north of Oldsmobile Stadium. The new city market will be across the river from where the Accident Fund insurance company is renovating the former (art deco) Ottawa Street Powerplant into their new headquarters as well as the addition of modern buildings to the north that will be connected by an atrium. 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.

List of largest metropolitan Lansing employers โ€“ 2005

Source: Lansing Chamber of Commerce - Lansing Region's Largest Employers - 2005
Company/Organization Sector Local Full-time Employment
State of Michiganmarker Government 14,355
Michigan State Universitymarker Higher Education 10,500
General Motors Corporation Automobile Manufacturing 6,300
Sparrow Health Systemmarker Healthcare 6,000
Lansing Community College Higher Education 3,180
Ingham Regional Medical Center Healthcare 2,500
Lansing Public School District Primary Education 2,106
Meijer Warehousing, Retailer, Grocer 2,000
Auto-Owners Insurance Insurance 1,500
Peckham, Inc. Manufacturing 1,400
Jackson National Life Insurance 1,393
Ingham County Government 1,258
City of Lansingmarker Government 1,240
United States Postal Service Government 1,200
Wal-Martmarker Retailer 1,185
Dart Container Container Manufacturer 1,144
John Henry Company Printing 750
Quality Dairy Food Goods 730
Lansing Board of Water & Light Utility 712
Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) Data Processing 660
Michigan Farm Bureau Insurance 650


Michigan State Universitymarker, a member of the Big Ten Conference, is known as "the pioneer land grant college", located in neighboring East Lansingmarker. 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. 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.

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.)

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

Public and private primary schools



  • 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 almost a decade. The chair of the CCAACA is the Rev. Dr. Michael C. Murphy, who is pastor of St. Stephen's Community Church, a former State Representative 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 will celebrate 10 years.

  • The 24th Annual Silver Bells in the City Parade proceeded through the streets of downtown Lansing on November 21, 2008. The 2007 parade attracted over 120,000 for the Electric Light Parade 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.


  • 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 let alone in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. Bars and clubs in downtown include: Brannigan Brothers, Kelly's, The Firm, Tavern on the Square, 621, Excel, The Exchange, Mac Bar, 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.
  • 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 full of food and live music.
  • Old Town Oktoberfest is a two-day event drawing hundreds to the Old Town neighborhood for live polka music, authentic German food and of course world renowned German-style beer.
  • It was announced in May 2007 that the city would host a Thursday night, summertime blues concerts along Washington Square in downtown Lansing named "Blues on the Square" that will feature national acts during the summer June-August. In 2008 the event regularly drew crowds over 500 to downtown.
  • The Common Ground Festival 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.


  • The Riverwalk Theatre, (formerly the Okemos Barn Theatre), the Lansing Civic Players, and the BoarsHead Theater are all located in downtown.
  • Peppermint Creek Theatre Company is a well established "new" award winning theater company.
  • The Greater Lansing Ballet Company is an award-winning ballet and dance company.
  • The Creole Gallery brings in various musicians and hosts the Icarus Falling Theater group.


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

  • The Impression 5 Science Center, a children's museum located in a historic wagon works factory on the Grand River.
  • The Michigan Museum of Surveying the only museum in North America solely dedicated to surveying and mapping. It is located in a former steam plant constructed in 1923.
  • The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, a museum dedicated to the education of Lansing's role in the development of transportation, particularly the automobile.
  • The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame, a museum dedicated to the historical accomplishments and achievements of Michigan women. The house is located directly south of downtown in the 1903-built Cooley-Haze House. The museum is surrounded by Cooley Gardens.
  • The Turner-Dodge House, a museum dedicated to Lansing's early pioneers. The museum sits in the Classical Revival-styled Turner-Dodge Mansion, built in 1858 for James and Marion Turner, and later by their daughter and her husband. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Michigan Library and Historical Center contains one of the 10 largest genealogy collections in the nation, has a museum dedicated to Michigan's history among other attractoins. [2724]

Farmers' markets

Lansing has several farmers' markets throughout the city in the summer months. These markets include the Allen Street Farmer's Market on the city's eastside, the Old Town Farmer's Market, and the year-round historic Lansing City Market located near downtown. The Lansing City Market is building 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

The historic Potter Park Zoomarker, located along the Red Cedar River in Lansing, has more than 400 animals and numerous programs and events for children and families. With annual attendance increasing every year since 2006 (137,236 in 2008 compared to 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. This is in addition to $1.3 million spent on capital improvements in 2008.


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.

Other area destinations

The Wharton Center for Performing Artsmarker recently began a 24,000 sq/ft expansion having already spent over $1.3 million in 2008. Many Broadway shows come to The Wharton Center before making to theaters in larger places such as Chicago. The Kresge Art Museum, the MSU Museum, and the Abrams Planetarium 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. Internationally known Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid of London won the design competition for the museum that will be built in East Lansing.


Newspapers and Magazines

  • Lansing State Journal
  • Lansing City Pulse
  • The New Citizens Press
  • Capital Gains Media
  • Capital Area Women's Lifestyle Magazine
  • The Greater Lansing Business Monthly
  • Greater Lansing Woman Magazine
  • The Hub
  • MIRS News-Michigan Information & Research Service
  • The State News
  • Gongwer News Service


Cable slots listed reflect the Comcast cable system in Lansing.

The NBC affiliate maintains the Fox affiliate'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.


The Lansing Lugnuts are a Class A Midwest League, Minor League Baseball team, currently affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Lugnuts are one of the most popular franchises in Minor League Baseball, drawing 538,325 fans during the 1996 season , and in the process outdrawing many larger teams. Their logo is one of the most popular in the minors . The team plays its home games at Oldsmobile Parkmarker, which was built at a cost of $12.7 million and opened in 1996 in downtown Lansing. It was partially renovated in 2006. Oldsmobile Park 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.

The Lansing Capitals began play in the International Basketball League in 2006.

Michigan State University 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.

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 1992โ€“2000. The Michigan PGA recently relocated from the Detroitmarker area to Bath, Michiganmarker, 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 Airportmarker (formerly known as Capital City Airport). Northwest Airlines maintains routes to Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul. United Airlines maintains routes to Chicago O'Hare. In 2008 Capital City Airport received a port of entry designation and now has a permanent customs facility, thus changing its name to reflect the port of entry status. UPS has a freight hub at CRIA making up part of the 24 million pounds of annual cargo moving through the airport. In 2008 a extension to the largest of the three runways (now 8,500 feet) was completed to allow for larger aircraft to use the airport.

Michigan Flyer provides bus service between Lansing and Detroit Metro Airportmarker eight times daily.

Major highways

Interstate highways

US highways

Michigan state trunklines
  • M-43 (Saginaw Avenue)
  • M-99 (Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.).


Public transportation

  • Capital Area Transportation Authority provides public transit bus service to the Lansing-East Lansing Metropolitan area on 33 routes. CATA boasts the second highest ridership in the state of Michiganmarker after Detroit with 53,000 daily rides in September 2008 and 11,306,339 rides in fiscal year 2008. CATA also provides paratransit services through Spec-Tran and the "Night Owl." Also, the "Entertainment Express" (CATA route 4) runs Thursday through Saturday from 7pm-2am connecting downtown Lansing's and East Lansing's entertainment districts. CATA won APTA's America's Best Transit Award in the medium size category (4-30 million rides) in 2007. CATA has two transportation centers (CTC), one in downtown Lansing and one on the campus of Michigan Sate University.
  • Greyhound Lines provides inter-city bus service. CATA and Greyhound are both located in the CATA Transportation Center (CTC) in downtown Lansing.
  • Also, Lansing has several taxicab companies serving the area, including Spartan-Yellow Cab, Big Daddy Taxi, Jb's Country Club Transportation, S-cabs Taxi Service. In 2008 the Green Cab Company opened using Toyota Prius hybrid cars to provide "green" cabs to Lansing.
  • Michigan Flyer provides daily shuttle service between Lansing, Jackson, & Ann Arbor, to and from the Detroit Metro Airport. Daily The Michigan Flyer has eight shuttles east bound headed towards the airport, and also eight shuttles west bound headed back towards Ann Arbor, Jackson, & East Lansing. The Michigan Flyer luxury motor coach service is based out of East Lansing.


  • The eight-mile (13-km), non-motorized Lansing River Trail runs along the Grand River and the Red Cedar River, running as far east as Michigan State University, and passes Potter Park Zoo, the Capitol Loop, and several other destinations of interest, and as far west as Moores Park.


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.

Natural gas is provided by Consumers Energy.

Notable residents

Sister cities

Lansing has three "friendship cities":



  • 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.

External links

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