Built in 1926, this building serves as the home of the Psi Upsilon Fraternity at Michigan State University. Built in the Italian Renaissance style, it borrows details directly from original Italian sources. At the height of the style’s popularity, between 1890 and 1935, advances in photography and travel accommodations allowed designers to study genuine Italian examples, either in person or through photos. As a result, the revival buildings provide reasonably accurate representations of authentic Italian buildings.
Two projecting wings flank the main body of this light colored brick building. Thin classical columns support the triple arches at the recessed front porch. Notable, smaller details include the double rowlock headers, wide eaves, decorative brackets and the stone accents on the chimney and belt course.
The most impressive detail of this building is its red tile roof, which is the primary character-defining feature of the Italian Renaissance style. Recently, when the owners needed to replace the original roof, they had considered a stamped metal substitute that attempted to replicate the tiles. Asked by the local Historic District Commission to reconsider their choice, the fraternity was able to identify an authentic replacement, and then reached out to its membership and alumni to locate the funds necessary to replace the tiles.
“Eye candy of the Week” is our weekly look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates with Eyesore of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Becky McKendry at 999-5064.