Albion Michigan has a few new things happening lately. A quote from the lively group on the NextDoor Albion site: “..we are so pleased with the large steps forward that we are seeing, a new hotel, a craft beer business, the Bohm II expansion, the Ludington Center, the new Dialysis center, the renovation of the Lautenslager building, the expansion of industrial businesses in the area. We are so blessed and need to support each other and work together. Let’s all strive to get along and make Albion the best it can be!”
Albion’s musical entertainment is bringing in visitors from near and far. The mainstay of Albion’s live music has been Albion College, with the free concerts, especially in the Spring. Most of these concerts take place at Goodrich Chapel. We will be getting them all listed on our calendar, with links to the original source of information. A new music event at the fabulous Bohm Theatre is the monthly Blues at the Bohm. Stop by Cascarelli’s before you get there, for a bit of refreshment and pizza.
Another old source of music in Albion is Dickerson Music Company. Now with new owner Kelly Kidder, there are new fun events at the old music store. One such event is a gathering of Ukulele players in March of 2017. Check out the video below even if you can’t be there for the jam. Scroll down for more upcoming music events in Albion.
Open Mic night is now happening at the Bohm. This event happens the Monday following Blues at the Bohm. We’ll be posting more information soon.
This summer be sure to come and enjoy Swingin’ at the Shell at the one of a kind Victory Park Bandshell on Sunday evenings. See some of the events from 2016 here:
The Franke Center in Marshall Michigan was recently awarded a major prize by State Farm Insurance to develop a youth theatre education program. This program will allow students from Marshall and from Albion to learn more about theatre performance and to make provisions for transportation and food after school so students can be at their best.
The details of the program will be announced soon on the Franke Center for the Performing Arts website at this location:
We are glad to see new buildings going up in Albion, but also to see new life come to an old building that had been vacant. The old freight depot, behind the Albion Post Office, has come to life again, as Gina’s Pizza & Deli. Gina’s was formerly located near “Five Points” on Michigan Ave, and had been closed for a few weeks early in 2017 so that she could get her new location ready for business. The turn out has been great.
Also known as the “101” building, the Ludington Center at 101 N. Superior Street, on the corner of W. Cass Street (next to City Hall) and N. Superior Street, is a newly restored building adding vitality to downtown Albion. Below is the executive meeting area and we also show a gallery of views from inside.
Take a tour below by hovering on a photo to see the caption, and you can click on a photo to enlarge it and to read the whole caption.
Entryway to the newly renovated Ludington Center
Second Story Ludington Center looking into the room where the VISTA team operates
Meet the VISTAs of Albion in 2016, from left to right: Jeremiah Simon, Dorothy Feltner, Kameron Sibert, Danielle Nelson, Linda LaNoue, Supervisor Andrew French, Miranda Hall, Leader Morgan Hull, Alice LaLone, and Steve Houtschilt.
VISTA team in Albion Michigan
VISTA Education Team
Classroom upstairs in the Ludington Center
View from the common area upstairs
A closer view, behind the Coca Cola mural shows the Parker Inn that will have its own improvements coming up
The “Million Dollar View” from the Ludington Center showing the Bohm Theatre
An old fireplace is kept as decoration
The Executive Suite upstairs at the Ludington Center
A meeting room upstairs at the Ludington Center
About the building: (from Leslie Dick on facebook) “It was the old Kessler-Parker building after the 1908 flood that destroyed many buildings on the block. In most of our oldest memories it was Knuth Furniture. It was the original site of Gale Manufacturing, then Albion Malleable Iron Company before the removal of those industries to the west side. It was named for William Kessler, owner of AMIC, and his stepson, Harry Parker who also built Parker Hotel (Munger Place) and 501 E. Michigan Ave, where Albion College president lives today.”
“This can be viewed in two ways,” said Andrew French, the College’s director of community action and the building’s manager. “It can be viewed as a College building where the community participates, or it can be viewed as a community building where the College participates. We want to make it a community place. We want our community to think of this space as a place where they collaborate, with each other or with folks who work at the College, on all sorts of projects.”
French said the Ludington Center is the latest downtown project – following the Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum in 2002 and the Bohm Theatre renovation in 2014, and ahead of the Courtyard Marriott hotel, currently under construction – to bring the community and the College together.
“The Ludington Center, Albion College’s latest connection between the College and the City of Albion, officially opened January 3, (2017).
Located at 101 N. Superior St. in a renovated building constructed in 1900 that is adjacent to Albion City Hall, the Ludington Center will be the new home for several College organizations as well as a community career and internship center, and includes classroom and meeting space.
‘This can be viewed in two ways,” said Andrew French, the College’s director of community action and the building’s manager. “It can be viewed as a College building where the community participates, or it can be viewed as a community building where the College participates. We want to make it a community place. We want our community to think of this space as a place where they collaborate, with each other or with folks who work at the College, on all sorts of projects.’ ”
The Build Albion AmeriCorps VISTA Initiative serves at the Ludington Center when they are not throughout the community at their partnering service sights. You may see more of them in the next few months as they are doing their Albion Forward Community Survey. More information on that can be found at their facebook page – Facebook.com/BuildAlbionVista
The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State in February 1970. Prior to that time, the second week of February was known as “Negro History Week.” This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates Black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.
Both Albion and Marshall have ties to Black History. There is also a trail of Civil Rights monuments in Michigan to Canada.
Albion College and Marshall Middle School choirs at the 2017 MLK Convention at the Bohm Theatre
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post journalist at the MLK convention
Wes Dick, professor at Albion College explains how black workers were brought to Albion to work in the foundries in 1917.
MLK Convocation and Community Celebration Keynote speaker from Washington Post about these times
The annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Convocation and Community Celebration will be on Monday, January 30, 2017, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Bohm Theatre in downtown Albion.
Keynote speaker Eugene Robinson, a nationally acclaimed columnist for The Washington Post, will bring his unique insights on life in America in an address titled: “We’re Someplace We’ve Never Been: Race, Diversity, and the New America.” This event is co-sponsored by Albion College and the Albion branch of the NAACP.
Eugene Robinson, nationally acclaimed columnist for The Washington Post, will bring his unique insights on life in America to Albion’s 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation and Community Celebration. He will present “We’re Someplace We’ve Never Been: Race, Diversity and the New America” as part of the Monday, January 30 event, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Bohm Theatre
Read more about this historic event on the Albion College website:
There was a trail to the north before the Civil War, that was unmarked, except for stories of following the North Star, looking for moss on the north sides of trees, and key words that helpers would know. This was called the Underground Railroad. Across Michigan and into Canada, there is a trail today, that is marked with much more visible reminders of this challenging time in our history. Today we can visit monuments, or just read about them here online, and learn about how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.
Underground Railroad Memorial honoring Adam Crosswhite
Holland Park has a monument to local civil rights activist Robert Holland.
Dr. Martin Luther King Sculpture, Kalamazoo
Adam Crosswhite tombstone, Oakridge Cemetery Marshall Michigan
Bohm II is located just between the Bohm Theatre and FirstMerit Bank in downtown Albion.
The ribbon cutting was held January 26, 2017/
The concession stand and ticket desk at Bohm II.
Inside the Bohm II.
The Bohm II allows the Bohm to show more first run movies and other types of movies at different times of day, as explained by Dick Lewin during the Grand Opening.
After four months of renovations, the unoccupied office space of the property adjacent to the historic Bohm was transformed into a 41-seat movie theater, complete with its own concession stand. Three of the seats are spaces for wheelchairs and the five seats making up the front are reclinable.
Bohm set out to raise at least $50,000 in 45 days on the crowdfunding site Patronicity to receive a $50,000 match from the MEDC and MSHDA’s Public Spaces Community Places program for the creation of the Bohm II. The campaign raised $74,000, of which $35,000 was raised by pledges before the crowdfund began.