old townOld Town is one of those historic district restorations we hear about on the news. It also happens to be one that succeeded beyond anyone's aspirations. Simply put, in the Lansing area, when something new is going to happen, when a new festival is going to start up, when a creative person looks at mid-Michigan, these days, that person or group is going to take a good look at Old Town. Some of us watched in amazement as Old Town became a destination. We, who grew up in the 1960s, remember the decline of the area referred to in those days a the "north side". It was always a rough area and became rougher each year. Some people wouldn't even go there. Now, it is the premier destination in the capitol city.

A few dedicated people decided that the decay of the “north side”must stop. Among these visionaries were the late Robert Busby, photographer Richard Galosy and an entrepreneur, Kathy Holcomb, who believed in Old Town early on, put her talent on the line, and opened the Absolute Gallery. In 1996, the Mainstreet program was established in Old Town. Since then, crime rates have fallen to the lowest in the city, building vacancy has dropped from 90 percent to less than 10 percent, and Old Town is proud to be home to some of the finest art and entertainment venues in mid-Michigan. Old Town has been become a favorite destination and, if you go on a weekend, there is very likely to be a festival going on. It's hard to believe that this was once known as the “north side” and was as rough a neighborhood and you could find. Now it is on a lot of “urban hiking” lists.

Just another great Michigan road trip getaway.