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)

The Campus




Interactive Map

Sites on the National and State Historic Registers

Complete list of
Significant Structures


Collegeville (1887)

Map by the author, based on Newman, 1915.

The first attempt at off-campus housing was made by Professors William J. Beal and Rolla C. Carpenter, who on November 5, 1887 platted “Collegeville.” It comprised sixty-nine lots located across Michigan Avenue from the west entrance to the College. The original plat had three north-south streets with the obvious names of West, Center, and East Streets. Although West was not aligned with Harrison Road south of Michigan Avenue, Harrison’s precedence meant that that name would soon be applied farther north. East Street was later renamed for Professor Beal, and so Center Street is the only north-south street to retain its given name. In addition, the east-west street Forrest was changed to Elm Street some time before 1915, either when Forest Street was created in Oakwood in 1899, or at the time of the 1907 charter, when both subdivisions became part of the City of East Lansing.

Although it was a needed addition to the housing market, the subdivision was not particularly successful. At the time, Collegeville was considered to be “a long way from the center of campus, and the salaried men of the college were not attracted to the location.” In addition, no provisions for water or sewer service were made. As a result, few faculty homes were built here, and the modest houses that were built were mainly occupied by teamsters and laborers. By the time College Delta was platted in 1898, forty-nine lots remained unsold in Collegeville.[Towar, p. 42]

Builders Hardware, 121 N. Harrison (c. 1880)
Butterfield–Ayers House, 134 Center Street (1895)
Edward R. Blair House, 221 Center Street (c. 1903)



Beal’s Addition to Collegeville (1895)

Map by the author, based on Newman, 1915.

Undaunted by the lack of interest in Collegeville, Professor Beal extended the subdivision north to Grand River Avenue. No historic houses remain on this plat.

In the early 1990s, in an attempt to protect the 300 block of North Harrison Road from development, the City placed the houses at 305, 315 and 321 N. Harrison in the “Collegeville Historic District.” That’s a different story.


Next: College Delta