Property: MSU Student Union East Lansing
Though perhaps not as iconic as Beaumont Tower, the MSU Student Union is nevertheless a campus landmark. With finals week marking the end of another academic year, the building is likely to be the backdrop for countless photographs. Initial planning for the building began in 1905, although it was not constructed 1925, when it was known as the MAC Memorial Union, in tribute to fallen soldiers of WWI.
Its architect was the Chicago-based firm of Pond and Pond, known for their use of elaborate brickwork and composition of irregular masses. Here, the brothers Pond used an unusual variant to the standard common bond, exchanging the typical rows of header bricks with an alternating series of headers and stretchers.
The Union is executed in a variant to the Gothic Revival style, called Collegiate Gothic, which was popular in high school and college buildings of the early 19th century. Reflecting the medieval cathedrals of Europe, the style was employed to project a sense of stability and morality. Characteristic details include arched openings, parapeted gables and tall windows.
The Art Deco sculpture of Prometheus over the main south entrance was created by Samuel Cashwan, who also carved the basreliefs at the Olin Health Center.
“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.