Property: Grace United Methodist Church 1900 Boston Blvd., Lansing
Designed by the father and son team of Lee and Kenneth Black, the sanctuary of this church was constructed in 1954. The building was expanded with a flat-roofed 1961 addition that enveloped the original structure, although a portion is held away from the main building to allow more natural light into the worship space.
The younger Black also designed Lansing City Hall and Lansing's downtown library building in the burgeoning Mid-century Modern style. The church's style is characterized by flat or low-pitched roofs and deliberate asymmetries, as used on the church. Cantilevered beams outwardly express the structure and are emphasized in a contrasting color that is carried to other building details. The beams support a horizontal zig-zag roof, mimicking the appearance of a folded plate structure. Visitors should note the thin spire atop the sanctuary. The interior is equally notable, with deep laminated wood arches and large expanses of stained glass.
The Mid-century Modern style, encompassing architecture, furniture and industrial design, is enjoying a resurgence in interest as the works mark their 50th anniversaries. Although development of the style is often credited to the West Coast or Palm Beach, it has significant origins in Michigan, particularly at Cranbrook in suburban Detroit.
“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.