The good news is downtown Lansing is busier than it has been in decades, thanks to the combined efforts of merchants and City Hall. But not all the news is good. Reporter Sam Inglot spent chunks of early weekend mornings on Washington Square as well as ta
I went to South Washington Square between Allegan and Washtenaw streets on two separate weekends around 1:30 a.m. The first night was a busy one. Around closing time at 2, a group of roughly 60 people formed outside of Club X-Cel. One drunk young man was shouting and strutting about the sidewalk as the group began to take notice of him. It was hard to tell if he was angry or just putting on an aggressive, alpha-male show for the gaggle of people. The situation had a “powder keg” vibe as people from other areas of the block flocked to check out the action.
This house in the Baker-Donora Neighborhood screams, “Not welcome.” It’s plain to see that the owner wants no one near as soon as you look at it. As if the three broken porch steps aren’t enough of a deterrent, a large piece of the beige-colored wood siding serves as a barricade to the porch entrance: It resembles a blank billboard as it blocks access to the main door, which is also boarded up with siding.
The recent life of Old Town’s historic Walker Building has been a lot like the Hulk’s, only in reverse. When it was big and green, nobody noticed it. Now that it’s settled down and dressed in earth tones, it’s turning heads.
Just eight buildings (pictured above) and two districts have been designated as historic by Lansing. The Ottawa-Walnut Historic District consists of two double houses at 320-328 W. Ottawa Street, among the few remaining 19th-century town houses and apartments once common in Lansing.
Most of it ended up back in Mason at the drain commissioner’s office, where it was bagged and made available free through word of mouth to anyone who wanted it, Lindemann said. That’s how such waste has been handled for 40 years, he added.
When the L&L Food Center on the corner of Saginaw and Waverly closed in late 2010, Lansing’s West Side lost a vital neighborhood resource. Two weeks ago, Valu Land opened in that location, creating 35 new jobs and filling the area’s need for a centralized grocery store that was big enough to be considered a one-stop-shop, yet small enough not to get lost inside.
Civic institutions located in easily accessible places have the ability to drive economic development. These buildings and their public spaces can be thriving places of commerce. Adjacent businesses benefit from the steady stream of residents to and from the public building, encouraging local economies and these spaces to thrive.
As Mayor Virg Bernero delivered verbal blow after verbal blow to the City Council’s budget amendments Monday night, 1st Ward Councilwoman Jody Washington looked on in disbelief. And disappointment. With a little confusion on the side — as if to say: “Really?”
The large number of students leaving has hurt the district two-fold, said Myra Ford, president of the Lansing School Board. She said the district is missing out on the per-pupil funding for those students and the loss of students reflects poorly on the district’s reputation.