Property: 123 S. Washington Square (Rouser Building), Lansing

While this building is showing its age in some minor details, it remains a graceful presence along South Washington Square. Despite its prominent corner location, the building’s eye-catching neighbors easily divert attention from its primary façade, composed of glazed white brick. Its ornamental terra cotta features are more restrained than those on the exuberant Strand Building to the south. Nevertheless, the details are noteworthy, from the egg and dart cornices to the garland swags in the upper frieze.

The history of this building may be read in two other terra cotta embellishments. The custom nameplate displayed high on the main elevation identifies this building as the former C. J. Rouser Drug Co. Directly below, a mortar and pestle detail attests to the building’s historic use.

Further below, two round-top windows, paired with flanking rectangular units, complete the upper façade. Although the rounded portion of each window is filled with a solid panel, the basic form of the Palladian assembly remains. The heavy window cornices rest on pulvinated friezes that press outward as if squashed by the weight of the structure above. Delicate Ionic columns, which are identified by the curled volutes in the capitals, complete the elaborate window compositions.

“Eye candy of the Week” is our weekly look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates each with Eyesore of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail or call Becky McKendry at 999-5064.