History

MPNO History

The residents of this neighborhood have been working hard to improve our part of the city for over 55 years.

Twice in the 1960s neighbors has to put pressure on the City officials to:

  • Make Moores Park safer by removing overgrown bushes that were hiding unsavory activities and
  • counter a proposal to shut down the pool.

When federal money became available in the early 1970s, through the Neighborhood Development Authority, neighbors became elected leaders of the Citizens District Council (CDC) #4, or the South Central Neighborhood Council (SCNO) as it was then called. CDC #4 advised the Lansing City Council in the expenditure of the $2.2 million grant for the improvement of our neighborhood. More than 40 sub-standard houses were removed, 40 to 50 mores were renovated, new sidewalks were laid, trees planted, and streets paved.

With the advent of Community Policing in the 1980s SCNO was split into 3 area: Fab Acres, east of Washington Ave., River Point, north of the railroad and SCNO, west of Washington Ave. to MLK Blvd. Later the SCNO name was changed to the current Moores Park Neighborhood Organization (MPNO).

Neighborhood History

Johnson’s Farm was purchased and planned for development in 1890 by M.D. Skinner and M.L. Hollister. They renamed it Park Place and planned to develop a neighborhood around what was then called “Belvidere Park.” Park Place includes the area bounded by Washington, Mt. Hope, Beal, and Moores River Drive. Twenty-seven homes were built between 1890 and 1904, but the “crash” of 1893 slowed further building.

In 1905, J.H. Moores purchased Park Place and further developed the area by adding water and sewer systems, and draining, clearing, and landscaping “Belvidere Park.” Many more houses were built around 1916 during the boom time before WWI and the operation of the REO automotive plant on the current business sites north of Barker Ave. Park Heights (the area west of the park), Floral Subdivision (Rundle), Kenwood (area west of Floral), REO addition, McKibbins Addition, and Johnson’s Addition (near the former Red Plant) were also developed in the early 1900s. In 1906 an elementary school was built at the end of Davis Ave.

Moores Park History

J. H. Moores donated the land that was called “Belvidere Park” to the City in 1908, making it the first school-park combination in the nation and the second in Lansing. IN 1890 it was written that “the park is threaded with pleasure walks and drives, and, in fact the whole is planned with admirable judgment.” By 1908, “under the care and improvement of Mr. Moores [it] had been made a place or rare and artistic beauty.” Early maps show a ravine along the west side of Bradley Ave. which carries a stream into the park. The entrance to the park was from Sparrow Ave. (now Moores River Dr.) just east of Bradley and through two pillars, still standing, and over the stream. That raodway went through the park and exited between the pillars now standing at the end of Beal Ave. Plaques on the pillars carry Moores’ motto:

“I shall pass through this world but once: If, therefore there be any good thing I can do to any fellow human being let me do it for I shall not pass this way again.”

In 1915 a herd of eld roamed through Moores Park before later being moved to Potter Park. The ravine and stream were tiled and covered in 1923 and now serve as a storm drain adjacent to Bradley Ave. and through the park.

Following the successful passage of a millage for parks development in 1993, $450,000 of improvements were made to return Moores Park to its former beauty and it remains a pleasant place for recruitment for many Greater Lansing area people as well as close neighbors.