Posted by: Kath Usitalo | July 31, 2012

Lansing’s Old Town: Tallulah’s Folly And All That Jazz

“Vintage, yet new” describes Old Town, a revitalized neighborhood on Lansing’s north side, and jewelry you’ll find there by local artist Courtney McClean

I was looking for a cup of joe to fuel the ride back to the 313 from a quick trip to Lansing and figured there’d be no shortage of java joints in the Capital City’s Old Town.

The revitalized neighborhood covers several blocks straddling the Grand River. It was where Lansing’s first residents settled in 1842.
Where the first dam and sawmill were built.

Once called North Lansing, it grew into a blue collar area with its own business district about two miles north of the Capitol building. Over the decades it suffered abandonment and neglect.

Through concerted effort in recent years the Victorian and vintage buildings, mostly along Turner Street and Grand River and Washington Avenues, have been enjoying new life as cafes, galleries, boutiques and restaurants.

Special events include this weekend’s free music at the 18th annual Lansing JazzFest, August 3-4. Old Town Bluesfest is September 21-22, followed by Oktoberfest and, well, you get the idea.

Flowers and an old paint sign at Tallulah’s Folly

With little time to linger I resist the urge to pop into every shop and decide to investigate Tallulah’s Folly, at the rear of a courtyard set back from Turner Street, past a bubbling fountain and junk-turned-yard art for sale.

The sweet aroma of fresh cut blooms fills the former industrial building-turned-flower and antiques store, with works by local artists, a coffee bar and Michigan-made foods for sale.

Owner David Gregware named the two year-old business for his dog Tallulah and his folly, a place of whimsy.

Every corner is crammed—artfully, of course—with cool stuff: handmade jewelry, knitted baby hats and toys, cute dog collars and collectibles.

I’m so busy soaking in the Tallulah’s Folly vibe that I forget about my original quest for a cuppa.

Next time.



Visitor Info Clicks:
Pure Michigan

Related Posts:
App-solutely Lansing
A Capitol Salute
Road Food Report: Golden Harvest

All aboard: Adorable hand-knitted critters and a vintage wooden toy train



  1. Nice report Kath! Next time, call me?? And we’ll get you over to Artie’s Filling Station right around the corner in Old Town. It’s located in one of the original Sinclair Filling Stations in the city. You are going to LOVE it!

  2. Hi Lori: Thought about calling you…drove past your office. Had to hustle. I did see Artie’s and you’re right—it’s a fantasy of mine to have my office in one of those old filling stations. By then I was in my “must return and explore this area” mode so I didn’t stop at Artie’s.

  3. Tallulah’s is the BEST, but I’m a total Old Town fan. Great people in single-owner shops with all kinds of fun items, clothes, art and people. A real community within a community.

  4. Hi Barb: Yes, definitely want to spend some time exploring Old Town.

  5. whenever I have family or friends visit,(from out of town or state) we always take them to Old Town.
    And always, they love it! One of the biggest attractions is Talllulah’s, followed by the popcorn store.

    • The popcorn store was just opening so I missed that. Another reason for a return visit. Thanks!

  6. […] Several folks thought it looked like Tallulah’s Folly in Lansing’s Old Town, which I happened to visit and write about last July. […]

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