The History

Lansing Township was first organized in 1842. One of the original settlers, Joseph North, got to name the town. He chose Lansing, having hailed from Lansing, New York. When the first census was taken in 1847, Lansing had a whopping population of 88. At that time, Michigan's capitol was located in Detroit. Legislators thought the state capitol should be more centrally located and were concerned about Detroit's close proximity to a "foreign nation", the terrifying Canadians. Ingham County Representative Joseph Kilborne made a motion from the floor of the House to move the capitol to Lansing. Considering that it was a wilderness at that time, many mocked the idea. Somehow, after much laughter and bickering, the motion was passed and the capitol was moved. Lansing was incorporated as a city in 1849.

The Facts

  • Population (as of 1995): 120,256
  • Lansing's crime rate earned it a ranking of 167 in 1995 among 665 cities with a population greater than 40,000. For comparison's sake, San Fransisco, CA was ranked 164 and Austin, TX 168.
  • The Lansing Public School district is rather big. The district has thirty elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. In addition to these schools are its five magnet schools. Serving elementary and middle school children, each school has a curriculum theme which supplements traditional eduction, such as Arts & Technology, Gifted & Talented, or Visual & Performing Arts.

What to Do There

Contrary to phugwit's astute opinion (so astute, apparently, that Klaproth ate it since the original posting of my writeup), there is much more to do in Lansing than drinking and sex. Admittedly, I'd hardly call it a tourist attraction unless you're interested in the architecture of capitol buildings. However, those of us who live in and around the city are much more than drunken, white trash nymphomaniacs. But, if that's the sort of person you're interested in, I'm sure you could find some in the area.

The following is a list of potentially interesting places to visit in Lansing:

  • Bare Bone - Studio for women's art. Located on Turner Street, they do workshops and stuff.
  • Boarshead Theater - Professional theater started in 1966 inside a barn in Grand Ledge. Moved to their current location in downtown Lansing in 1975. I've seen a few shows there and they've been quality stuff. Attracts even equity actors to their productions.
  • Common Ground Festival - Music festival held annually on the banks of the Grand River. Runs Tuesday through Sunday and draws national as well as local musical acts of a variety of genres.
  • Impression 5 Science Center - One of the niftiest places around for kids, and maybe even adults, too. It has all sorts of science-related exhibits that allow kids to get their hands in and actually "do" science.
  • Lansing Civic Players - Founded in 1929, it is the oldest community theater in the area. It's housed in a historical firehouse.
  • Oldsmobile Park - Baseball stadium also located downtown. Home to a somewhat embarrassing minor league baseball team called the Lugnuts whose mascot is a giant purple dragon. Don't ask me what a dragon has to do with a lugnut, because I can't explain it. Concerts are also held here sometimes and the fireworks they do during the summer are pretty neato.
  • Potter Park Zoo - A smallish park and zoo. They're big enough to have lions and tigers and things, but nothing terrifically exotic like giraffe. Lots of good places by the river to have picnics and take walks.
  • Riverwalk Theater - Another theater company located downtown next to the science museum. Such a small theater that there really isn't a bad seat in the house.
  • There are also various restaurants and movie theaters that are more than willing to take your money in exchange for food and entertainment.

Public High Schools

Other Cool Lansing Places
Creative heading, no?

  • Lansing Community College - Fairly self-explanatory. Lots of classes available, earn an associate degree or a certificate, or just learn to fence all at a third of the cost of Michigan State University! Good for folks like me whose parents are not paying their way through college.
  • Studio One / Apartment 4 Records (formerly Lighthouse Recording) - Pretty nice recording studio. I tracked some stuff there over a weekend for my church and had a good experience. We've also recorded the score for the passion play there. Nice atmosphere, friendly people (say hi to Mitch), great setup...
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School - One of the best law schools in the country is located less than a block from the capitol building. Over 70 percent of the student body comes from outside Michigan. Tuition is a heart-stopping $650 per credit hour. Juris Doctorates are expensive!
  • Mount Hope Church - The church I grew up in and currently attend. It's the largest church in the city, currently in its third and final building phase. Gilead Healing Center is set to open Easter 2004 and will provide health care services and seminars as well as prayer for the sick.


Lansing is located in the southern part of the Michigan and is commonly referred to as the “Capital City”. It is the sixth largest city and accounts for a population of roughly 120,000. The city of Lansing is an uncharted dwelling for students on the lookout for reduced rental prices.

Cheap rental units for college students are only a few miles away, literally. Why pay 4, 5, or 600 hundred dollars a month when you could pay 1/3 of that? That is a great question and I intend to enlighten the folks that have to earn their money to pay for rent – or those who are trying to save a buck while attending college.

Just 2.5 miles away from East Lansing, Michigan cheap rentals can be found for 250 dollars per month! The rental district in Lansing, Michigan is much more affordable for college students. With over 35,700 residential units you are sure to find something in your price range¹. Though there are a few stipulations that go along with the cheap rent.

You will be living with at least five roommates if you are looking to find the cheapest rent. This means all the bills are split by a larger group thus achieving economies of scale. The houses are a bit dated but if you have a landlord willing to work with you the living conditions will be up to par with East Lansing housing. And the houses are not moved in and out of year after year accumulating excessive wear and tear. Not to mention they are not partied in like houses that are located north of Grand River Avenue near Michigan State University.

The total rent for the house I current reside in is 1540 dollars per month. There are six people living in the house making the rent just over 250 dollars each. Each tenant has their own room and shares a bathroom with no more than two people. All the amenities of East Lansing living can be found in Lansing between two and five miles away and are easily accessible by bus. The Capital Area Transport Authority (CATA) gave 11,306,339 rides between Oct. 1, 2007 and Sept. 30, 2008² – so it is nearly impossible not to find a ride in the greater East Lansing and Lansing areas.

If you are looking to have some extra cash around during the semester look no further - Lansing could be your new humble abode.


Bottom Line:


-         SAVE MONEY

-         Under 300 dollars per month (unheard of in most college towns)

-         Quiet atmosphere (if you so desire)

-         Ease of transportation



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