Eyesore of the week

By Sam Inglot

Property: 922 N. Walnut St., Lansing

Owner: RRL Properties, LLC

Assessed value: $53,800

Owner says: It’s old and difficult to maintain

Time and the elements have slowly but surely chipped away this 125-year-old home on North Walnut. The flaking paint job is like wrinkles on an aging person — it could use a face-lift, or at the very least, a dollop of skin cream. The stairs on the west side of the home and the various doors to the interior indicate that it may have been used as two, maybe three, suites at one time. However, the only residents of this house are the small trees and sprouting shrubs that seem to have found comfort in slowly overtaking the front porch.

Indeed, old age and tenants are what’s keeping this old house from performing its best, said Vic Loomis. You may know Loomis as an East Lansing City Councilman and former mayor. He put the property in an LLC, of which he is the resident agent, after it was inherited as part of his uncle’s estate. “That’s a very old property and it’s been difficult to keep tenants in. Tenants have been difficult to the interior of the property,” he said. “Those properties are difficult to maintain. The plan is to get it to a rentable status and then get out of it.”

Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: This gable house may be simple in form, but it is anything but that when it comes to its details. Highly decorative gable designs are visible features of any house and perfect for unique detailing. Contrasting trim color is often used to draw attention to this intricate work. Gable designs are all too often lost, removed or hidden beneath vinyl siding. The result? The loss of a folk art tradition.