1890s View of Michigan’s Capitol from the Lansing Standpipe

January 15, 2007


These two photos are from the book Lansing: City on the Grand by James MacLean and Craig A. Whitford from Arcadia Publishing (book details & purchase online). The 128 page book features over 200 historical photos of Lansing. In addition to photos you’d expect (Lansing Olds, REO plant and the Capitol building) there are photos and stories you wouldn’t like Barnes Castle (torn down in 1957 for a parking lot) and Charlie Zmuda, the “Bat Man”.

A popular location for photographers to capture the city was the standpipe located on south Cedar Street. THE MYSTERIOUS STANDPIPE, C. 1890sThis view was taken prior to the construction of a new wide steel bridge on Michigan Avenue, crossing the Grand River. (FPML/CADL.)

The standpipe was constructed in 1885 and served as the city’s storage tank for water. The tower was located east of Cedar Street and south of Michigan Avenue, where the Board of Water and Light have their holding tanks today. The remarkable aspect of the standpipe was that you could walk to the top on the circular staircase that wraps around the tower. Many a photographer took advantage of this and quite a few panoramic photographs were taken. The standpipe was torn down in 1949. (FPML/CADL.)

Photos reprinted with permission from Lansing: City on the Grand by James MacLean and Craig A. Whitford. Available from the publisher online at www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling 888-313-2665.

View other excerpts from Arcadia Publishing’s Michigan books at Michigan in Pictures!

3 Responses to “1890s View of Michigan’s Capitol from the Lansing Standpipe”

  1. MichSt Says:

    Wow! It’s incredible to see how the capital building dominated the skyline at the time, while now it’s buried amongst taller buildings (see here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12299238@N00/344934261/in/set-72157594361036873/)

  2. Detroit’s standpipe at Waterworks Park was even more spectacular, it was tall and very detailed. Unfortunately it was condemnded and torn down in the 50s.

  3. […] The original State Capitol of Michigan was Detroit, and it moved to Lansing in 1847 to help develop the western side of the state and due to the need to develop the western portions of the state and for easy defense from British troops. Here’s a pic of Michigan’s original Capitol Building and an 1890s view of the current Michigan capitol. […]

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