is a city in the U.S. state
. The city is located directly east of Lansing
, the state's capital. Most of the city is within Ingham County
, though a small portion lies in Clinton County
. The population was 46,525 at the time of the 2000 census
, of those 29,329 were classified as university students, or 63% of the total population. It is best known as the home of Michigan State University
The settlement of East Lansing began around 1847, the same year nearby Lansing was made the capital of the state of Michigan. Downtown East Lansing was an important junction of two major Native American trails: the Okemah Road, and the Park Lake Trail. By 1850, the Lansing and Howell Plank Road Company was established to connect a toll road to the Detroit and Howell Plank Road, improving travel between Detroit and Lansing, which cut right through what is now East Lansing. The toll road was finished in 1853, and included seven tollhouses between Lansing and Howell.
Michigan State University was founded in 1855 and established in what is now East Lansing in 1857. For the first four decades, the students and faculty lived almost entirely on the College campus. A few commuted from Lansing, and that number increased when a streetcar line was built in the 1890s, but there were few places to live in the then-rural area immediately around the campus.
That started to change in 1887, when professors William J. Beal and Rolla C. Carpenter created Collegeville, along what is now Harrison Road and Center and Beal Streets, north of Michigan Avenue. Few faculty were attracted to the location, and the first residents were "teamsters and laborers". In 1898, the College Delta subdivision (including what is now Delta Street) had the support of the College itself, which provided utilities, and several professors built homes there (one of which survives today at 243 W. Grand River Ave.). Other subdivisions followed.
At that time, the post office address was "Agricultural College, Michigan". A school district encompassing the nascent community was created in 1900. In 1907, incorporation as a city was proposed under the name "College Park"; the legislature approved the charter but changed the name to "East Lansing".
The city charter in 1907 prohibited the possession, sale, or consumption of alcoholic beverages, and East Lansing was a "dry" city until voters modified the charter provision in 1968.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.25 square miles (29.15 km²), of which, 11.24 square miles (23.38 km²) of it is land and 0.02 km² (0.009 sq mi) is water, as of 2000. Along with any annexations, this also takes into account any 425 Agreements initiated by the city prior to 2000.
Since 1998, East Lansing has aggressively made use of 425 Agreements to gain control of land of surrounding townships to expand its borders and tax base. The city is currently in three 425 Agreements with Bath Township, DeWitt Township, and Meridian Township, and has effectively added thousands of acres of land to its border.
- East Lansing and DeWitt Township enter into two 425's in 1998 and 2001, respectively, which involved nearly of land. The agreement stipulates that East Lansing gains full control of the land after 33 years.
- East Lansing and Bath Township enter into a 425 Agreement in June 2002 involving of land. The agreement stipulates that East Lansing gains full control of the land after 100 years.
- East Lansing and Meridian Township enter into a 425 Agreement in November 2002 involving of land. The agreement stipulates that the Merdian Township residents get to decide the fate of the land after 100 years.
Along with increasing its boundaries through 425's, the city has also made use of outright annexation of surrounding township lands in recent years. It annexed the of the Four Winds Golf Course in Meridian Township in 2001, and another of the township in 2006. The city also annexed from DeWitt Township the land that is currently the East Lansing Soccer Complex. As of 2006, East Lansing has increased its size to .
The city's downtown area is centered around Grand River Avenue
, a wide tree-lined boulevard that evolved out of the 19th century plank road
that connected Lansing
. Grand River Avenue serves as dividing line between the Michigan State University
campus and the rest of the city. Grand River Ave. is lined with many college-oriented businesses, such as bars
salons, coffee shops
, head shops
, restaurants (many dine al fresco) and bookstores. Immediately north of downtown are predominantly student neighborhoods
. Further north of that is the residential
part of the city, which is much like any other suburb. At the very northern tier of the city are several new student-oriented apartment complexes. These new developments are far from the university, but their lower property tax
rates allow them to offer students more amenities for their monthly rent.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 46,525 people, 14,390 households, and 5,094 families residing in the city. The population density
was 4,136.6 per square mile (1,596.7/km²). There were 15,321 housing units at an average density of 1,362.2/sq mi (525.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.91% White
, 7.40% African American
, 0.33% Native American
, 8.21% Asian
, 0.08% Pacific Islander
, 0.95% from other races
, and 2.12% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 2.69% of the population.
There were 14,390 households out of which 16.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.6% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 64.6% were non-families. 36.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the city the population was spread out with 9.0% under the age of 18, 58.6% from 18 to 24, 16.4% from 25 to 44, 9.9% from 45 to 64, and 6.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,217, and the median income for a family was $61,985. Males had a median income of $43,767 versus $30,556 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,333. About 11.0% of families and 34.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 or over.
East Lansing has a Council-manager government
, where the city council appoints one of its own as mayor, and another of its own as mayor pro tem — a city council member with extra ceremonial duties, but who chairs council meetings in the mayor's absence. The city council consists of 5 at-large
council members who are elected in non-partisan
elections to 4-year terms in November of odd-numbered years. The city council chooses the city manager
, the city's chief administrative officer. The manager is appointed by, and answers to, the city council.
An important aspect of East Lansing's government is its system of commissions. The commission members are ordinary East Lansing citizens who are appointed by the city council and advised by members of the city staff. Commissions may propose or review policies in their bailiwicks and make recommendations to the city council. Major East Lansing commissions include those for Planning, Housing, Transportation, and Parks and Recreation. Other commissions and boards that also involve active engagement of ordinary citizens also play a role in East Lansing's governance.
Michigan State University
, a member of the Big Ten Conference
, is the largest education institution in the State of Michigan (6th largest in the United States), reflecting East Lansing's history as a college town. MSU has more than 200 programs of study including two medical schools (one M.D. and one D.O.), a veterinary school, a law school, and numerous PhD
programs. Nearby Lansing is home to several other colleges, including Thomas M. Cooley Law School
which is the largest law school in the United States, Davenport University
, and Lansing Community College
Primary and Secondary Schools
The city is covered by the East Lansing Public Schools district, which has an enrollment of just over 3,400 students in grades K-12. The district also includes small portions of neighboring Lansing, Lansing Township, and Meridian Township. The district consists of six elementary schools
, one middle school
, and East Lansing High School
, Indian Trails
, and Greyhound
all provide intercity rail and bus services at the East Lansing Amtrak depot
, which is located at 1240 South Harrison Road in walking distance from the Michigan State University
main campus, although both on- and off-campus public transportation serves the depot. Capital Area Transportation Authority
(CATA) provides public bus transit throughout East Lansing, Lansing
, and surrounding areas. Three major interstates
and one U.S. Highway serve the East Lansing area including: I-96
, and US 127
. The Lansing Capital City Airport
in nearby Lansing offers a number of direct domestic flights as far as Las Vegas
; connections between East Lansing and the airport are offered by CATA (with a transfer in downtown Lansing); rental cars are also available at the airport. Bus transportation is offered between East Lansing and Jackson
, Ann Arbor
, and Detroit Metro Airport
eight times daily by Michigan Flyer
The Northern Tier Trail
is a shared-use pedestrian and bicycle path system connecting some parts of the northern half of the city; the Lansing River Trail
begins on the campus of Michigan State University
and extends west into downtown Lansing and then north towards the airport. Finally, two class one freight railroads serve East Lansing including Canadian National Railway
(CN) and CSX Transportation
In recent years, "town and gown
" relations have soured as students and permanent residents looked at each other with increasing hostility. Riots related to sporting events erupted in 1997, 1998, 1999,and disturbances in 2003. After two years without major incidents, another disturbance happened on April 2
after MSU's defeat by North Carolina
in the 2005 men's basketball Final Four
The Cedar Village area, which houses several large student housing complexes bordering campus, has been the site of several riots and disturbances. These disturbances are part of the reasoning behind the city's decision to declare Cedar Village "blighted". The city has proposed to redevelop the 35 acre (140,000 m²) site as a complex of upscale condominiums and retail stores called East Village. Led by several fraternities in the affected area, students have mounted a campaign against the redevelopment plan. As of 2006, the plan remains at a stalemate.
From March 29 to April 2, 2006, East Lansing hosted the USA Hockey National Tournament. The age group that competed contained players from the U-14 Tier 2 division. States were represented with teams from Massachusetts, Michigan, Alaska, Nebraska, Florida, California, Connecticut, Indiana, New York,and Pennsylvania. In the end, The LA
Hockey Club representing California won.
In 2007, the City of East Lansing celebrated its Centennial. The celebration began in January 2007 with a kick-off press conference at the Marriott Hotel in downtown East Lansing. Events through out the year included an old fashion concert, a birthday party, and a historic homes tour. A fireworks show took place in August, along with many more events throughout the year. With Michigan State University's Sesquicentennial ice cream flavor such a huge success, the City of East Lansing contracted Melting Moments ice cream shop to develop a Centennial ice cream flavor. All downtown businesses were encouraged to take part in Centennial festivities. The Peoples Church
on West Grand River Avenue also celebrated its 100th birthday in 2007.
Residents were asked to submit their favorite stories, pictures and memories on the Centennial website, which includes photographs dating back to the early 1900s. The website lists all Centennial events and includes a complete history of the city. Fun East Lansing facts can also be found, along with a list of famous East Lansing residents. Michigan State University and the City of East Lansing partnered on many of the events.
Points of interest
- W. J. Beal Botanical Garden which is the oldest botanical garden in the United States.
- Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens
- Beaumont Tower
- Red Cedar River
- Wharton Center for the Performing Arts (Great Hall and Pasant Theatre), the Fairchild Theatre, and the MSU Auditorium (Main Stage and Arena Theater).
- Abrams Planetarium and the MSU Observatory
- Spartan Stadium and Sparty, the MSU mascot is the largest ceramic statue in the world.
- Breslin Center
- MSU Forest Akers Golf Courses
- MSU Pavilion
- Sparty is the nickname of "the Spartan" a large statue located on campus representing the MSU mascot, a Spartan warrior. The statue is guarded by MSU students amidst rival sports team meetings, usually Big Ten basketball or football, to prevent rivals from defacing of the statue. Sparty is frequently used as a landmark when giving directions on campus. In recent years, the original statue, reputed to be the largest freestanding ceramic sculpture in the world, was relocated indoors to protect it from the weather, and replaced on its original site with a bronze replica.
- The Rock is a large boulder, approximately five feet high, originally placed near Beaumont Tower by the Class of 1873, since relocated to a site northeast of the Farm Lane Bridge. It serves as a venue for student groups (an invitation would read: "Wednesday, 7pm at the Rock") and is routinely graffitied by those groups.
Outside East Lansing
- The city of Lansing is adjacent to East Lansing. Lansing has, among other things, the State Capitol, Hall of Justice (Supreme Court), and Michigan Library and Historical Center Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the nations largest law school, is located in downtown Lansing. Lansing also is the home of the Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball team. There is a historic City Market in downtown Lansing, next to the Grand River, which has the distinct taste and flair of Europe.
- Lake Lansing is nearby and is approximately 500 acres (2 km²) in size. The lake has an outstanding beach, and is a summer favorite of swimmers, sunbathers, boaters and fishermen. The Lansing Sailing Club and Michigan State University Sailing Club have facilities on Lake Lansing where sailing regattas are held throughout the summer months.
The 2008 Future Problem Solvers International Conference will be held in East Lansing
- Spencer Abraham, former US Senator and Secretary of Energy under President, George W. Bush.
- Robert D. Alexander, public policy activist
- Timothy Busfield, director and Emmy Award-winning actor, known for his roles on television series such as Eliot Weston on thirtysomething and Danny Concannon on The West Wing.
- Jim Cash, screenwriter of films such as Top Gun, Legal Eagles, Dick Tracey, and Anaconda, was a long-time resident of East Lansing and a professor at MSU. Born in Boyne City, MI.
- Todd Martin, tennis pro. 1988 graduate of ELHS.
- Ryan Miller, goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres.
- Drew Miller, Wing player for the Anaheim Ducks. Brother of Ryan Miller
- Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
- Carl Page, Jr., co-founder of eGroups, later sold to Yahoo.com.
- Wally Pleasant, comedic folk singer.
- Ben Poquette, NBA basketball player.
- Susan May Pratt, actress.
- Malcolm X lived in the Urbandale neighborhoood in Lansing Township, a short distance west of East Lansing, and wrote about his East Lansing experiences in his autobiography.
- The Verve Pipe, post-grunge band.
- The High Strung, garage rock band (see also The Masons).