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Wednesday, September 24,2014

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
This building is not particularly appealing, although it demonstrates some potential. Its simple massing and elegant brick dentils are offset by unfortunate alterations at the street. The current main entrance is paired with an alternate doorway to the right, accessing the upper floor. When the building was constructed in 1919, it may have served as a neighborhood focus, conveniently providing goods or services to residents nearby and an equally convenient dwelling above the shop.
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Wednesday, September 10,2014

Eyecandy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
This property once served as a corner grocery, built in the 1920s by Anna and Michael Scieszka, who had recently emigrated from Poland. The simple wood-framed building sat a few steps above the sidewalk on a rusticated concrete block foundation. Like many small, family-owned groceries of the era, the building supplied the needs of its immediate neighborhood with fresh groceries and produce.
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Wednesday, September 3,2014

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
According to a reader, this property has stood with torn paper in the windows for at least four years. To be fair, compared to the typical Eyesore, the conditions at this property are a minor nuisance. From the exterior, the split-level home appears to be in reasonably good shape. Apart from the now-fallen paper curtain the front picture window and the saplings growing in the eavestroughs, the house appears to be in good shape.
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Wednesday, August 27,2014

Eye candy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Nearly hidden on a narrow strip of land between a parking lot and an active railroad track, these gardens provide a pleasant retreat, particularly at this time of year, with colorful blooms and ripening produce. The Imagination Arbor near the main entrance leads to the ABC Garden – with plants from alyssum to zinnias – in the shadow of the outdoor Garden Amphitheater. From there, paths wander through various themed patches, such as the Pizza Garden with peppers and garlic or the Perfume Garden with fragrant lavender and mint.
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Wednesday, August 20,2014

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: 1044 Sunset Lane, East Lansing Owner: Janice Pfeifer Assessed: $89,600 At first glance, this innocuous house is typical of those throughout its neighborhood. It displays a pleasant, simple mass, offset by tired synthetic siding. However, the retractable awning is a throwback...
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Wednesday, August 6,2014

Eye candy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Built in 1924 as the Olds Hotel, the building was repurposed as an office building in the 1990s and renamed after Michigan’s 43rd governor. Like many buildings downtown, this impressive block is often overshadowed by the grandeur of the Capitol. Pedestrians studying the building are encouraged to step within and enjoy the soaring atrium that replaces the hotel’s original light court.
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Wednesday, July 23,2014

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: 108 S. Hosmer St., Lansing Owner: 108 Hosmer LLC Assessed Value: $227,000 There is good news about this week’s eyesore: It is apparently on its way to being an eye candy. A 2001 fire badly damaged the vacant apartment building visible from Michigan Avenue, but the owners...
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Wednesday, July 16,2014

Eye Candy of the Week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
This grand icon of Michigan State University was built in 1928-29. It is located on the former site of College Hall, which served as the first instructional building at MSU and had collapsed in the previous decade. The tower rises above its brick covered plaza to a height of 104 feet, overlooking the Campus Circle.
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Wednesday, June 25,2014

Eye candy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: 123 S. Washington Square (Rouser Building), Lansing While this building is showing its age in some minor details, it remains a graceful presence along South Washington Square. Despite its prominent corner location, the building’s eye-catching neighbors easily divert at...
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Wednesday, June 18,2014

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Before this house was significantly damaged by fire, it was a humble example of the Craftsman style. In exchange for the low pitched roof, typical of the style, this home has ample room for living above the front porch and in a dormer on its west side. The resulting form is called “bungaloid,” which accounts for this additional upper level space. In contrast, the related term “bungalow,” which is frequently paired with the Craftsman style, never includes more than a single story.
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