Aug. 3 2011 12:00 AM

1215 Vermont Ave., Lansing


Property: 1215 Vermont Ave., Lansing

Owner: Ingham County Land Bank

Assessed Value: $0amanda

Owner says: Property will be demolished by January 

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: It’s
incredibly tempting to sacrifice a porch to increase indoor square
footage of a house. Enclosing an exterior porch, whether partially or
completely, is a very common practice that can be successful but far too
often falls short. The simple fact is that the enclosed portion never
quite looks right, detracting from the attractive proportions and
details of the house. For example: the turret at 1215 Vermont Ave.
Monochromatic colors, like this home’s single color, also draw attention
to awkward features like an enclosed porch. Breaking up the
monochromatic white facade by adding color to the decorative details and
trim would dramatically improve the overall aesthetic.

This rickety picket fence, sunken tarp-covered roof and
acrid smell of ripe standing water in the summer air is like the dying
soul of a bitter pirate – a pirate with one leg in the grave and the
other on a banana peel. Nails for holiday lights line the rafters of the
front porch and a walnut tree hangs over what is left of the patio.
It’s hard to envision lights hanging from the bird nests peeking through
the beams or a family enjoying the rotting nuts on the patio that
resembles a pirate’s plank. Deemed unsafe by the city in 2007, the Land
Bank says this house will be gone by January — we say good riddance to
this old fellow.

— Ashley Brown