Property: Marshall-Adams Hall (Bacteriology Building) East Lansing

This impressive building is on Michigan State University’s “Laboratory Row,” a portion of West Circle Drive that features some of the campus’ oldest remaining buildings. It was constructed in 1902 to house the Department of Bacteriology and Hygiene. The building took its name from Charles Marshall, the initial department head, who began his tenure in 1897.

The stacked stone foundation splays outward, expressing the building’s solid massing. Rising upward, it is an active composition of brick and limestone, particularly the elliptical window arches and the dentilated frieze.

The most impressive details are found at the main central bay, where a limestone Roman arch springs from rough stone imposts. The arch’s individual tapered structural stones, called voissoirs, are visually extended into the brickwork to create a majestic entryway. Similarly, the oversized keystone reaches up to the entry’s lower cornice. Far above, the entrance’s form and details are echoed in the curved, parapeted gable.

When the bacteriology program moved to Giltner Hall, the building became the home of the Department of Economics. An extensive renovation was funded in 2002 by Mr. and Mrs. Randall Pittman, who graciously extended the building name to include Economics professor and former university president Walter Adams.

“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 eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.

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