Property: 3600 Dunckel Road, Lansing
Owner: F G & P LLC
Taxpayer: F G & P LLC
Owner says: Unable to be reached for comment
Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: The simple truth is this: the built environment is for people. For no other reason does it exist. Unoccupied buildings, particularly large buildings like the Waterford Estates Lodge at 3600 Dunckel Road, are unsettling — the absence of humanity in an environment explicitly meant for people. The obviously choice for this building is to restore it to its original use as a hotel. If prohibitive due to market forces, a more interesting option might be artist studios. Individual rooms with exterior entry are perfect and the main lobby would be an outstanding gallery space. Just imagine warm summer days touring open studios.
The lobby of the Waterford Estates looks almost inviting, as if waiting for the next round of guests to come inside and check into their rooms. Never mind the ivy slowly inching it’s way up the outside windows — the inside seems relatively well maintained.
The vacant hotel rooms tell a different story. Some of the sliding glass doors that lead into the rooms are boarded up. Some have clearly been transitioned to storage rooms and are piled high with mattresses, desks and chairs. However, all hope is not lost. Electricity appears to be connected since some of the rooms have lights turned on. Maybe they are on to complete the illusion that the building is ready for business again.