Durant Park / Arch
William C. Durant was one of Michigan's most important industrialists and the founder of the General Motors Corporation. In 1919 Durant purchased this three-acre city block, once the estate of Mortimer Cowles, an Eaton Rapids carpenter who worked on the state capitol. Durant hired Kalamazoo landscape contractor Charles Maxon to create an urban Park. (Maxson also landscaped the Durant Motors Company's 500,000-square-foot facility on Verlinden Avenue in the City of Lansing.) In 1921 Durant donated the property to the city of Lansing as a park for north side residents. The park included flowerbeds and trees, serpentine concrete pathways, and a circular fountain basin in the center of the park. A parade marked the dedication on June 23, 1921.
Durant Park Arch
The city of Lansing erected the Durant Park Arch in 1924 in gratitude to automobile magnate William C. Durant, who donated this park to the city in 1921. That same year, he built a $3 million factory in Lansing, known as the "Ver Linden" Branch of Durant Motors, which produced the Durant and Star models. When it opened, the plant had 3,000 employees and was credited with increasing the city's population by 15,000 people. The Lansing-based Christman Company built the arch. The monument is built of brick masonry and Indiana limestone. The name "Durant Park" was lit from the inside with electric bulbs so that it would be visible at night. This architectural monument is the only one of its kind in Lansing. It was restored in 2004.