Property: 329 E. Grand River Ave. (Bank of Lansing Building) Lansing
When the current owners bought the Bank of Lansing building in 2005, their purchase agreement stipulated that they would not operate the facility as a bank for at least 10 years. Mary and David Swanson have managed Swanson Design Studios in the building since that time and have no intention of switching their chosen professions.
Although the tellers’ windows were removed to accommodate the trappings of an architecture firm, the soaring ceilings of the original space remain, as does the thick steel door into the vault and the bank’s night depository box. In 2007, the owners repaired exterior limestone and added round top awnings, assisted by a grant from the Old Town Commercial Association.
According to contemporary newspaper stories, the structure was built in 1928, making it about three years older than Comerica’s branch, Lansing’s oldest bank building, at 101 N. Washington Square. Completed in a loosely Art Deco style, the Old Town building features fluted limestone pilasters that flank the entry and run along the east elevation facing Center Street. The yellow brick exterior rises from a limestone base and terminates in a simple dentil just below the stone cornice, which is periodically punctuated with acanthus leaf panels.
“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.