Eye candy! of the week

By Neal McNamara

Property: 204 E. Mount Hope Ave., Lansing

Owner: East Mount Hope LLC

Taxpayer East Mount Hope LLC

Assessed: $102,800

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell Seyburn says: Houses are particularly well suited for adaptive reuse and 204 E. Mount Hope Ave. is an excellent example. The owners have maintained the original character of the residence featuring an impressive repetition of highly decorative brackets supporting the eave beams. The beautiful brackets cast shadows across the facade adding depth and drama to the meticulously maintained facade.

This grand old house (the owner puts it at about 100 years old), which is now home to the Gaydos Leckie law office, blends so many architectural styles — and it all works well — that we would it would be an architectural faux pas to point them all out.

Owner Kathleen Gaydos bought the property about 10 years ago when it was an adult foster care home. She said about $60,000 was poured into the home to restore it, including a new stucco facade, roof, concrete work and replacing some of countless, ornate roof brackets.

Gaydos was nervous about buying the 3,000 square foot home at first because of the way it stood out in the neighborhood and the need for renovations. But … .

“I saw a diamond in the rough,” she said.

A lesson on proper bracket etiquette from Amanda Harrell Seyburn:


Brackets (aka corbel or modillion) are both a decorative and supportive feature, bracing the gable rafters or eave beams. All too often, brackets are used with styles they do not belong with. Brackets are most appropriate on Arts and Crafts and Italianate styles that feature wide eaves.

Don't: Make the most common mistake by using undersized brackets that appear inadequate to support the structure and remain shadowed by the eave. This error is often due to the use of stock brakcets that are not correctly sized to the needs of the structure.

Do: Use properly sized brackets that extend the length of the eave so that they visually support the structure correctly. Use stock brackets that precisely fit the size of the eaves or invest in custom brackets that feature prominently in the facade instead of hiding in the shadows, which would be a waste of money.

“Eye candy of the Week, our weekly look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each with Eyesore of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Neal McNamara at 371-5600 ex. 17.