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


Major Sources

William J. Beal. History of the Michigan Agricultural College; and biographical sketches of trustees and professors. 1915.

Indispensable account of the college’s early years. Limited printing of only 3,000 copies includes an insert of Newman’s 1915 map (see below).

Thomas C. Blaisdell, Ph. D., ed. Semi-Centennial Celebration of Michigan State Agricultural College. 1908. Available online from the MSU Library Digital Collection.

The complete program of the 1907 commemoration of the school’s first 50 years, including the full text of Theodore Roosevelt’s commencement address and many others.

Paul L. Dressel. College to University: The Hannah Years at Michigan State, 1935–1969. 1987. Available from

A bit post-era for the purposes of this web site, but contains an interesting opening chapter about the college’s formative years.

Justin L. Kestenbaum, ed. At the Campus Gate: A History of East Lansing. 1976.

A quality coffee table overview, albeit occasionally anecdotal, written for the Bicentennial’s seemingly inexhaustible demand for American history, both national and local. Now hard to find, as the first edition printing was limited to only 1,000 copies. The M.S.U. Library’s copy has been vandalized and is missing several pages, but the Circulation department has a spare photocopy of the lacuna that it will duplicate by request.

Madison Kuhn. Michigan State: The First Hundred Years, 1855–1955. 1955. Available from

The definitive work, published in commemoration of the school’s transition from College to University.

Harold W. Lautner. From an Oak Opening: A Record of the Development of the Campus Park of Michigan State University, 1855–1969. 1978.

Harold Lautner (1902–1992, M.A.C. ’25) was appointed Professor of Landscape Architecture in 1946 and was Director of Campus Parks and Planning through 1959. As Professor and Director Emeritus he combed through his own records and the archived minutes of the governing Board to compile this excellent two-volume reference work. Written from the viewpoint of site use and landscape architecture, it provides a comprehensive overview of how the campus park developed to become, in the words of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr, “probably the best example of the type of landscape characteristic of the American University.”

M.A.C. Association, et al. The M.A.C. Record / Michigan State College Record / The Record.

Between 1896 and 1955 this magazine was a weekly (later monthly, and in some years quarterly) compilation of campus event announcements, athletics results, feature articles, and alumni news. Early volumes were published by the College itself, later years by the alumni association. Madison Kuhn was a frequent contributor.

Michigan State Board of Agriculture. Annual Report[s] of the Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture of the State of Michigan. 1861–1922.

A wealth of information, provided as required by statute to the Governor of Michigan by the officers of the College. The first report was issued in 1861, the year of reorganization under the Board of Agriculture.

Michigan State Board of Agriculture (or Education)/Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Minutes of the Meeting[s].... 1855–2008.

The official record of the school’s administrative meetings, dating back to the very founding. The early years are handwritten and occasionally quite candid; later volumes are typewritten and more matter-of-fact.

Whitney Miller. East Lansing: Collegeville Revisited. 2002. Available from

A slim paperback in the “Images of America” series, filled with a wealth of excellent black-and-white photos of the city, campus, and famous figures, 1855 to present day. (Ms. Miller, who works for University Archives and Historical Collections, has written to say that the handful of errors within are hoped to be corrected for the book’s second printing.)

Chace Newman. Map of East Lansing, City. 1913. Edition of November 1915.

This exquisitely rendered map includes every structure erected in the young city, a directory of some 65 buildings on the M.A.C. campus, and an explanation of Newman’s house numbering system devised in 1911 (but revised in 1920 to its present form). The East Lansing Public Library has an original printing. Given the wealth of information contained in the map, one only wishes that Newman had continued to issue updates in subsequent years.

Linda O. Stanford and C. Kurt Dewhurst. M.S.U. Campus—Buildings, Places, Spaces: Architecture and the Campus Park of Michigan State University. 2002. Available from

A beautiful coffee table book of large black-and-white photos and interesting tidbits about the University’s buildings and grounds. Though many of the buildings of the John Hannah era fall into a school of design appropriately called “Brutalist,” the authors do not shy away from including the more significant and interesting examples of the style on campus. Moreover, they do many of those buildings justice for their progressive ideals.

James DeLoss Towar. History of the City of East Lansing. 1933.

Towar’s comprehensive, if occasionally desultory, history was written at the behest of the East Lansing Public Library, and covers the years from the earliest pioneer days to 1933. The M.S.U. Library’s reference copy is a hard-bound 8½x11 mimeograph of the typewritten original.

Keith R. Widder. Michigan Agricultural College: The Evolution of a Land-Grant Philosophy, 1855–1925. 2005. Available from

The first in a trilogy of large volumes published by the Michigan State University Press in celebration of the M.S.U. Sesquicentennial, this book combines a broad overview of the college’s development with an in-depth study of the intellectual forces that led to its creation and growth. Fascinating images from the M.S.U. Archives abound.


Other Sources

T. C. Abbot. The Earlier History of the [Michigan State Agricultural] College up to Its Reorganization in 1861. 1883.

F. W. Beers and Company. County Atlas of Ingham, Michigan. 1874. <>

C. W. Chadwick. Farm Atlas of Ingham County, Michigan. 1914. <>

Chilson, McKinley & Co. Lansing City Directory. Various years.

East Lansing Historic Commission. “Landmark Walking Tour.” Pamphlet. May, 1991.

Mark Grebner. Grading The Profs, 7th Ed. 1988.

George W. Hilton and John F. Due. The Electric Interurban Railways in America. 1960. Stanford University Press. Available from

Lawrence Kestenbaum. Political Graveyard. <>

James MacLean. Darius B. Moon: The History of a Michigan Architect, 1880–1910. 2015. Available from

James MacLean, Craig A. Whitford. Lansing, City on the Grand: 1836–1939. 2003. Available from

J. Bruce McCristal. The Spirit of Michigan State. 2004. Available from

Mark Nixon, editor. Journal of Our Times: 150 Years in the Life of Greater Lansing. 2004.

David A. Thomas. Michigan State College: John Hannah and the Creation of a World University, 1926-1969. 2008. Available from

Elida Yakeley. Michigan Agricultural College: Catalogue of Officers and Graduates, 1857–1911. 1911.

M.S.U. Archives and Historical Collections. Tales from the Archives, Volume 1: Campus and Traditions. 2017. Available from the Archives’ store front.

M.S.U. Physical Plant. Building Data Book. 2002, 2004.

M.S.U. Physical Plant. “Michigan State College Properties Survey - 1934.” <>

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps. Various years. Available online at the Library of Congress.