Lansing’s Old Town Historic District, once in decline, now serves as the area’s link to both the past and the future with restored, turn of the century buildings and an eclectic mix of galleries, restaurants, clubs, and more.
Lansing’s Old Town Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located in the north end of town overlooking the Grand River and its winding bike trail. It was here, in 1843, that pioneer James Seymour and his family built the first house in what would become Lansing, Michigan.
Lansing might never have flourished as it has were it not for fears that, having been captured in the War of 1812, Detroit seemed an unsafe choice as Michigan’s state capitol. Deciding on a new location for the state capitol was easier said than done, however, with everyone lobbying for their own favorites. Frustrated, the Michigan House of Representatives privately chose the then tiny Township of Lansing to end the gridlock. The governor signed the decision into law and, with that, Lansing began to quickly grow, starting in what is now Lansing’s Old Town.
Much of what was built during those boom years still remains: Victorian homes and brick buildings of trade and commerce. Though Lansing’s Old Town saw an extended period of decay through the latter part of the 20th century, a dedicated interest in reviving the area beginning in the 90’s has proven successful and Lansing’s Old Town has emerged as a modern center of arts and culture.
Beautifully restored Victorian buildings are filled with galleries, boutiques, specialty shops, dining, nightclubs, and more. Lansing’s Old Town Historic District is active with festivals, gallery walks, and farmer’s markets all year long.
Lansing’s Old Town Walking Tours
Take a walk through history in Lansing’s Old Town with self-guided walking tour brochures available through the Old Town Commercial Association office, located at 1232 Turner Street in downtown Lansing, MI. Find yourself transported back to the early 1800’s as you view and learn about landmarks common to the past and present – and Lansing’s bright future, too!
Lansing Vacation Lodging
For another great mix of the best of the past with the convenience of the modern, stay at The English Inn, Restaurant and Pub! The English Inn is located on the grounds of the historic Medovue, a 1927 country estate located in Eaton Rapids, less than half an hour away from Lansing. We offer you the comfort of modern amenities on a lush acreage replete with the Tudor Revival trappings of a luxurious past.