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Orlando Mack Barnes, a noted resident of Lansing in the late 19th century, held titles in banking, industry, railroading, and politics. His mansion, built on 4 acres fronted by Main Street and bordered by Washington Avenue, was one of the finest examples Victorian architecture in the Midwest.
The 17,357 square-foot "castle" had 26 rooms, 11 halls and landings, 6 stairways and 9 fireplaces. The total cost of construction in 1878 was $40,000-$25,000 more than the original estimate.
When O. M. Barnes died in 1899, his widow could not maintain the home and the building stood vacant until a proposal to use it as the Governor's mansion was considered but rejected in 1948. The $200,000 price tag for renovation was considered too high.
Mansion, c 1890
Mansion, c 1895
Architectural Detail of the House's Primary Mantle
Drawing of the West Elevation
Looking South Towards the REO Factory from the Barnes' Mansion Roof
View of the Mansion from Main Street During Demolition
Michigan Historical Center, Department of History, Arts and Libraries
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