Capital history tour

By Allan I. Ross
The former Mustang Bar will be one of the stops on the Old Town historical walking tour Saturday. Courtesy photo.

Lansing Historical Society Hosts Old Town Tour

Tuesday, July 30 —The Historical Society of Greater Lansing has added a tour of Old Town to its summer schedule of historical and architectural walking tours. The Old Town tour was added as part of the 2013 JazzFest. The free tour leaves at 12:30 p.m. Saturday from the west side of Old Town’s Cesar Chavez Plaza.

Valerie Marvin, president of the Historical Society, said the tour was added because of popular demand and the overwhelming response to downtown Lansing walking tours focusing on the architectural and historical icons of the city. The recent Church and State tour attracted more than 100 participants.

The tour will explore the early roots of Old Town, one of Lansing’s earliest settlement areas, as well as more recent adaptations.

Included in the tour will be a look at buildings located on the Grand River, including the Clark Hill Building, the Brenke Fish Ladder, the Lansing Board of Water & Light Generating Station and the Darius Moon Building. Also included are Elderly Instruments, once the home of the International Order of Odd Fellows; the old North Presbyterian Church; the former Mustang Bar, a North Lansing entertainment staple; and the North Lansing Comfort Station, among others.

Marvin also said the tour will cover the transition of the old Plank Road to Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

“A discussion about the Hispanic connection in Old Town is especially important since this week is the 40th anniversary of Cesar Chavez’s 1973 march in Old Town,” she said. “It’s important to put these incredible buildings into the context of the day.”

The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and covers the blocks adjacent to the intersection of Turner Street and Grand River Avenue. Donations are welcome. The final summer tour, Behind the Facades, will be held in downtown Lansing on Aug. 17.

Old Town Walking Tour
Historical Society of Greater Lansing
Departs from Cesar Chavez Plaza (Lot 56, beside the former Chrome Cat)
12:30 p.m. Saturday