Property: 4279 E. Mount Hope Road (Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory), East Lansing

This building is located near the south end of Michigan State University, although its appearance matches the Collegiate Gothic buildings in the older parts of campus. Considering that the facility was established to study avian cancers over 75 years ago, its traditional appearance is perhaps less surprising.

Characteristic of the era, the building features a slate roof and parapeted gable with copper flashing at their juncture, matched by patinaed eavestroughs and downspouts. Horizontal limestone bands accent the brick exterior, which is laid in a common bond, featuring several rows of brick stretchers divided with regular rows of brick headers. This brick bond carries into the modern addition at the rear. Additional stone emphasizes the quoins surrounding the paired, double hung windows.

The building escapes obvious notice much of the year. The combination of vehicular speed along Mount Hope and the vegetation in front of the building obscure its traditional details. It seems oddly fitting that this building may be seen most clearly during the season when our thoughts turn to calling birds, French hens and turtle doves (and possibly roasted turkey). Visitors are encouraged to find it as the days begin to grow longer, but before the spring foliage blossoms.

“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 Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.

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