Finding the Beauty in Art and Architecture in Lapeer

If you haven’t ventured out and about in downtown Lapeer, you’re missing out on an area filled with character, a robust arts scene, stunning architecture and delicious dining options to refuel to continue exploring. Check out these ideas of how to experience the art and architecture of Lapeer.

Exterior of an old building
Downtown Lapeer | Photo Courtesy of Place + Main Advisors

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Get the day started on the right foot with a homemade pop tart and coffee from CREAM or stop by Max’s Donuts for a sweet treat you won’t regret. Max’s has been touted as the best donuts in the state. Don’t take our word for it, check it out!

With a good pair of walking shoes on, head out on West Nepessing Street to take in architectural eye candy including Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Second Empire and Georgian-style structures in downtown Lapeer.

The Greek Revival Immaculate Conception Catholic Church adorns the 800 block of Nepessing Street. This beautiful structure, both inside and out, started as a simple wooden church with the walls and roof being erected in 1860, and completed in late 1864.

Stone exterior of a Catholic church
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church | Photo Courtesy of Place + Main Advisors

Continuing east, visit The Old Lapeer Post Office. Construction began in 1930, with The Old Lapeer Post Office opening their doors in 1932. In 1987, with a new post office complete across the street, the original Lapeer Post Office closed their doors at this site. The Lapeer Main Street DDA purchased the building and led the restoration efforts to ensure the building could continue to be utilized and cherished. Note the large coach lights on the front the building. These are original fixtures, originally gas but since converted to electric during renovations. The exterior windows were also restored, instead of being replaced, during the renovation.

Just off Nepessing Street, at 576 Liberty, sits Lapeer City Hall. Built more than 100 years ago, 1882 to be exact, Lapeer City Hall was constructed to house city offices and the fire department. While the building has since been restored, it continues to be used as city hall. These buildings, along with several others, are part of the Piety Hill Historic District. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, Piety Hill is a favorite walking and driving tour for residents and visitors alike.

Continue down Nepessing Street taking in the varied architecture of downtown take a few minutes to stop into shops. New and vintage, unique gifts and more can be found at the diverse shops in downtown Lapeer.

Lapeer County Historic Courthouse, Nepessing at Court Street completed in 1846, the historic courthouse is the oldest courthouse in continuous operation in the state of Michigan. Perched on the wide shaded lawn of the Lapeer County Courthouse Square this Greek Revival structure boasts several elements of the style including Doric columns and the gablefront.  

A historic courthouse in Lapeer
Lapeer County Historic Courthouse | Photo Courtesy of Place + Main Advisors

Make sure to check the nearby kiosk for information about upcoming events, car shows, concerts, and more!

Crossing the street from architecture to the arts, sitting diagonally across from the historic courthouse is Gallery 194 and The PIX Theatre, also known as the Center for the Arts of Greater Lapeer.

The center for all things art in the Lapeer area, Gallery 194 features original art handcrafted by local artists hosted by the Lapeer Art Association. The gallery also features Meet the Artists’ receptions, art demonstrations and art classes. Peruse the upper and main gallery art shows, stop into the Gallery Gift Shop for an array of handcrafted gifts, jewelry, cards, books and more.

Next door, the 294-seat PIX Theatre is the downtown venue for live performances. Originally opened, in 1941, as a movie theatre today The PIX offers entertainment for the entire family. From music to theatre, comedians, magicians, and even Family Nerf Wars there is always something happening at The PIX. Check to see if tickets are available for tonight’s show!

Continuing on Nepessing Street, stroll through the public space at the Ed LaClair Lapeer Rotary Park nestled in next to The PIX. Admire the metal sculptures created by artist Bill Palmer of Steel Rose Forge and Jennifer Horn of Daisy Hill Forge, one of the four original murals, or relax at one of the many natural stone tables and boulders all surrounding a performance stage.

A metal sculpture of flowers in a garden park
Art in the Ed LaClair Lapeer Rotary Park | Photo Courtesy of Place + Main Advisors

Surely the walking, exploring, and sightseeing has made you hungry. Make sure to check out local favorite restaurants including Woodchips BBQ and Tilted Axis Brewery for a cold beverage and house made pizza.

Didn’t get to everything in one day? Make it a weekend getaway. Check into the one of the area hotels, such as the Holiday Inn Express off Main Street, to get a good night sleep and be ready to explore more the next day!