If You Call East Lansing “Collegeville”, You’re Not Wrong
We all know that East Lansing is the home of Michigan State University. I mean, just read at the signs.
But East Lansing is more than that. We'd love for you to get familiar with the artist formerly known as "Collegeville" and "College Park".
Michigan State University was founded in 1855 and established in what is now East Lansing in 1857.
East Lansing's first houses, known as Faculty Row, were built on the college campus in the 1850s, and thereafter the city's history and growth paralleled that of Michigan State University (MSU).
In those early days the village primarily served the needs of teacher and student. An early village planner was the college's world famous botanist, William J. Beal, who, together with mathematician Rolla C. Carpenter, laid out an area just north of campus as a residential tract.
In the new century the rush to expansion boomed, and in 1907 "Collegeville" and adjacent neighborhoods were chartered as East Lansing.
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 first seven mayors, starting with Clinton D. Smith in 1907 and Warren Babcock in 1908, were professors or employees of the college.
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. In the 21st Century, downtown East Lansing has enjoyed a construction boom. Multiple city center complexes have resulted in the redevelopment of large parts of the historic downtown area, at a greatly increased population density.