Lansing’s Old City Hall, Dedicated in 1897 (Photo Not Dated)
A New City Hall (1897)
In 1894, the City Council of Lansing, Michigan authorized bonds to build a new City Hall on the corner of Ottawa and Capitol Avenues. Accepting the plans of prominent architect Edwyn A. Bowd, the Council spent $150,000 on this new structure. Bowd’s original design included chambers for the Lansing City Council and offices for Lansing’s mayor, treasurer, clerk, assessor and police department (including a jail). In an effort to change the county seat from Mason to Lansing, the Lansing City Council also authorized that the structure be large enough to accommodate the Ingham County Circuit Court, Ingham County Probate Court and offices for county officials. However, the county seat was not moved, and Bowd went on to design a new Ingham County Courthouse in Mason in 1902. The cornerstone for the Lansing City Hall was laid in August 1895, and the dedication was in January 1897.
A New City Hall (1959)
By 1938, just forty-four years after the City Hall was first commissioned, the architectural firm of Harland Bartholomew and Associates issued a report criticizing its “slovenly” appearance. The architectural firm’s primary message: Build a new city hall. The 1894 structure would be inadequate within another twenty years. Bartholomew was right. In 1957, Lansing built a new city hall at Michigan and Capitol. The modern structure, designed by Lee Black and Kenneth C. Black, was dedicated on Feb. 17, 1959. The old city hall was bulldozed that same year.