For the past several weeks, the fresh smell of primer and paint was in the air as volunteers from across the Lansing area enacted an “extreme” street makeover of a block of Ray Street in the city’s Baker-Donora neighborhood.
Just three weeks ago, some houses were worn and sporting flaking paint, crooked and chipped fences and neglected lawns. But the makeover dramatically changed Ray Street, as well as a few houses on adjacent streets.
The project ended up costing twice as much as the $20,000 the Ingham County Land Bank and individual donors gave to the project. The makeover was estimated to take around a week, but due to rain and other hold-ups, ended up taking more than two weeks.
“We got off to a slow start,” Tiffany Vincent, the project coordinator, said. “But we got a lot of community involved and still got a lot done.”
Bill Mier, a volunteer and homeowner on Ray Street explained the sense of community pride the restorations brought.
“It helps the community esteem and I think it helps in general the feeling that somebody cares,” Mier said. “It’s also a community effort and they’re proud of that.”
Brenda Yoder lives in a house on Norman Street that got painted and talked excitedly of the four weddings that were going to be held at her homes now that the restorations are complete.
“There were a couple of people who didn’t seem that grateful, but for the most part, we had so much enthusiasm for it,” said Vincent. “We had people invite us in and make us food and a lot of thank you’s.”
Before and after photos of some of the homes on Ray Street.
Pictures 1 and 2: Claudio Reyes' home on Ray Street before and after.
Pictures 3 and 4: Truman Yoder's house on Norman Street got a paint job and a new wheelchair ramp.
Pictures 5 and 6: A home at the corner of Norman and Ray streets got a paint job and a new roof.