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Introduction

Origins

The City

Collegeville (1887, 1895)
College Delta (1898, 1899)
Oakwood (1899)
Cedar Banks (1900)
College Grove (1903)
Fairview (1904, 1905)
College Heights (1904)

Charter of 1907

Avondale (1913)
Bungalow Knolls (1916)
Chesterfield Hills (1916)
Ardson (1919)
Ridgeley Park (1921)
Strathmore (1925)
Glen Cairn (1926)
Bailey (1927)
Touraine (1927)

The Campus

Chronology

1855–1870
1871–1885
1886–1900
1901–1915
1916–1927

 

Interactive Map

Sites on the National and State Historic Registers

Complete list of
Significant Structures

Sources

Avondale (1913)


Map by the author, based on Newman, 1915.

After the initial boom of subdivision plats around the turn of the century, new developments within the city limits took a hiatus of about a dozen years. In this period, the plat of Avondale occupies a singular place in East Lansing history.

Bounded by Burcham, Hagadorn, Beech and Gunson Streets, Avondale was platted in 1913 on unincorporated land in Meridian Township, its western edge touching the East Lansing city limits. Because it was outside the city and therefore exempt from its zoning laws, Avondale is one of the rare post-charter neighborhoods that has streets without sidewalks.

As the city grew in subsequent years, Avondale was absorbed, and streets of neighboring subdivisions had their names carried into Avondale, even though most did not follow a straight line as they crossed the former border. In fact, statistically Avondale has the highest rate of renamed streets of any subdivision in East Lansing, at seven out of nine (Belmont is a special case, see below):

Original Name
Current Name
Belmont
Burcham
Kensington
Snyder
Melrose
Beech
Emerson
Gunson
Cornell
(unchanged)
Oxford
Stoddard
Irving
Spartan
Virgin
Virginia
Lexington
(unchanged)
Clifton
Hagadorn
Source: Kestenbaum, p. 20. That source mistakenly claims that Cornell was changed to Stoddard.

Belmont Avenue was platted parallel to Burcham Drive, with about an alley’s width of distance between the two streets, as shown in the map, above. This gap was due to the interurban right-of-way, built along Burcham between 1906 and 1910. After the demise of the interurban, Belmont and the right-of-way were eliminated by extending Avondale’s north-south streets to Burcham and platting the intervening spaces into lots.

Beech Street had its name changed after Strathmore attached to it, though its original name, Melrose Avenue, carries on to the east across Hagadorn Road.

(As an aside, puzzle fans may notice that Irving and Virgin are anagrams.)

Old Marble School, 693 N. Hagadorn Rd. (1934)
Wilmarth Property (Chester Clark House), 1101 Burcham Dr. (1905)

Next: Bungalow Knolls

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