The temporary exhibit will showcase shopping in downtown Lansing in mid-century (late 1940s-1960s) and will highlight Knapp’s, Liebermann’s, Maurice’s, Free Spirit, Marshall Music, Kositchek’s, Ellison’s Book Store, Linn and Owen Jewelers and Arbaugh’s among others. The exhibit is free and part of Lansing’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own City” promotion and then will be open during select times this summer. Parking is available onsite.
Items on display include a 1958 two-story metal dollhouse complete with all the plastic furniture; an electronic baseball game, an original sign from Liebermann’s Trunks; fashion items from the 1950s to the 1970s and a massive cash register from Linn and Owen Jewelry which was in use from 1917-1970.
Other items in the exhibit include signs, photographs and ephemera such as bags, boxes and promotional items from downtown stores including the one-of-a-kind Free Spirit an eclectic grouping of shops in the early 1970s that sold everything from platform shoes to waterbeds.
“The pop-up exhibit celebrates the glory days of shopping in downtown Lansing by the highlighting the vast array of items that could be purchased from big stores like Knapps or from specialty stores like National China,” Valerie Marvin, president of the Historical Society said.
The President said the Society will be launching a number of pop-up exhibits centering on a variety of themes that are important to the history of Lansing.
“The one-room pop-up exhibit format allows us to tell an interesting story in 20-30 minutes,” she said.
“It’s one room of nostalgia and gives us a little taste of an era when shopping was a special occasion. People dressed up, had lunch and maybe finished with a hot fudge sundae or banana split from Knapps.”
The Historical Society President also said that they are collecting artifacts for other pop-up exhibits on themes that include education, worship, eating in Lansing, city government, fraternal organizations and a variety of other themes. She said the Society plans to open several of the temporary pop-up exhibits across the city in the coming year. The organization recently leased space in the historic Creyts’ home to store for exhibits and meeting space.
For more information contact Valerie Marvin at 517-282-0671 or visit http://www.lansinghistory.org. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held 5-7 p.m., Friday June 1. The public is invited.