Sept. 14 2011 12:00 AM

Property:  500 S. Pennsyvania Ave., Lansing

Owner:  Haida Jafar

Taxpayer: Haida Jafar

Assessed:  $23,500

Owner says: Unable to be reached for comment

Architecture critic Amanda
Harrell-Seyburn says: Attached garages just make sense in Michigan. An
attached garage is relatively rare on early 20th century houses like
this one at 500 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Despite the smoke residue, this
one is particularly well designed ,with the garage attached to the rear
of the house and a driveway entrance on the side street. Convenient and
safe, it makes for an attractive corner house. Garages may seem pretty
simple but the fact is even something as simple as a garage can have a
huge impact.

However beautiful this house may have
looked originally, it is far from looking that way now. Evidence of
fire is clear throughout the entire structure, especially on the
attached garage. A notice from the fire marshal bans entry without
permission and scorch marks are clearly visible under the house’s side
windows. The underside of the garage roof is charred black and the back
of the garage has melted siding. The backyard features a pile of siding
and burnt insulation. The smell of burnt wood fills the air. Almost
every window is boarded up making it impossible to see inside. Signs on
the front of the house say a restoration is taking place, but at this
point the sign is only advertising. The company has a long way to go to
restore this home to its original glory.- Nyssa Rabinowitz