Lansing's Rotary Steam Clock – Lansing, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Lansing's Rotary Steam Clock

This mechanical wonder towers above a river in Michigan's capital city. 


Installed in 1997, the Rotary Steam Clock was a 150th birthday gift to the City of Lansing for its sesquicentennial. The handsome Art Deco-inspired clock stands near the Michigan Avenue and Grand Avenue intersection and overlooks the Grand River in the heart of downtown Lansing.

The towering construction is powered by both electricity and steam. In fact, steam power is what makes its chimes sing throughout the day. Peek inside the tower’s windows, and you’ll snag a glimpse of the mechanisms that make the clock tick.

The clock is 28 feet tall and includes a 1927 Seth Thomas clock mechanism, a 49-bell carillon that plays two songs a day (selected from a collection of more than 10,000!), and five steam whistles. The $150,000 in funding that was needed to acquire and install the steam clock was raised locally by members of the Lansing Rotary Club.

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Several surface parking lots and on-street metered parking are located nearby.

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