March 16 2011 12:00 AM

Property: 601 S. Clemens Ave., Lansing

Owner: Ross Harris, LLC

Owner address: 236 W. Portal Ave., San Francisco, Calif.

Assessed value: $16,800

Owner says: Could not be reached for comment

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: Look beyond its peeling past and study 601 S. Clemens Ave. closely. This classic, early-American, two-story home has a great textural quality on its exterior supplied by its wood siding. Wood siding may not seem significant, but it is. Most likely fashioned by a master craftsman (rather than manufactured), this old type of exterior siding is known as lap siding. Its name is derived from the successive overlap of the above board over the next. It’s still used today, but at much wider intervals than is evidenced here. Although at one time commonplace, this incredibly thin style of lap is quite rare today and sets this building apart from its surroundings.

This crumbling, yellow two-story greets travelers heading northbound on Aurelius Road to the Eastside Neighborhood just past Interstate 496. But visually, 601 S. Clemens Ave. is hardly welcoming.
Unfortunately, the vacant lot immediately to the south only makes the house more visible. The house is decorated with broken windows, exposed wiring and a small, deteriorating detached garage. The GMAC mortgage foreclosure notice posted in the front window — along with a broken George Foreman grill on the side of the house — is about the only sign of life at 601 S. Clemens.

— Andy Balaskovitz