Property: 615 N. Capitol Ave. (Mourer- Foster Insurance), Lansing Owner: John T. Foster
At first glance, it is the obvious things that draw one’s eye to this elaborate building. The fluted Corinthian columns and pilasters on the front portico and the multi-colored woodwork on the third floor dormers are immediately obvious. The craftsmanship is carried on to smaller details like leaded glass in the fanlight and sidelights or the beveled glass in the front doors.
These notable details continue within on the curved door and lintel that follow the walls in the oval-shaped meeting room and the ornate plaster moulding running through the building. The aptly named Nautical Room recalls a ship’s cabin, finished with oak panels and curved beams.
This attention to detail is testimony to the owner’s fondness for the building. Numerous restoration and redesign projects have been undertaken since the building was rescued from neglect in 1977. When an adjacent building was demolished, the owner salvaged bird’s-eye maple trim for reuse here. Foster even commissioned a custom wood table, designed to echo the dentilled moulding in the conference room.
Lansing architect Samuel Dana Butterworth designed the Colonial Revival building in 1912 for William H. Newbrough, an officer in the New Way Motor Co.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.