May 11 2011 12:00 AM

534 S. Magnolia Ave., Lansing


Property: 534 S. Magnolia Ave., Lansing
Assessed value: $19,500
Owner: Richard Arrington
Taxpayer: Thomas Arrington
Owner says: Could not be reached for comment
Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: It’s so good to see a possible renovation may be underway at 534 S. Magnolia Ave. on Lansing’s east side. The small shingle-sided dwelling may not seem incredibly significant, but it is. This block has already lost the house on the adjacent lot to the south to demolition. The loss of 534 would result in a double whammy, two vacant parcels in a row. Unarticulated open space like that which is left after the demolition of a building in an urban setting is problematic. Losing a building — even a small building like 534 S. Magnolia — creates a noticeable gap in the block and erodes the urban edge that the buildings define. It also leads to depreciating property values and a feeling of insecurity as one passes by.

The inside of 534 S. Magnolia looks like some renovations have started, but the outside is much harsher on the eyes. The front door is tagged with a “Do Not Enter: Unsafe to Occupy” sticker from the fire marshal and about half of the windows are still boarded up. Trash is scattered at the base of the house and exposed wiring adorns the northeast corner of the fading brown exterior.

— Andy Balaskovitz

“Eyesore of the Week" is our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail or call Andy Balaskovitz at 999-5064.