Property: 109 E. Grand River Ave. Williamston

For visitors approaching from the west along Grand River, this building housing Tavern 109 appears to sit in the middle of the avenue. An irregularity in the city plan, possibly following a bend in the Red Cedar River, forms a slight break in the road, which seemingly places this building at the road centerline. If this peculiar siting were not enough, the yellow painted brick and contrasting darker colors set the building off from its neighbors.

The history of the building is revealed upon closer examination, where the middle and right bays contrast with the left bay. In spite of the modern treatment of this west bay, the building remains an outstanding landmark. While a more careful treatment would have been preferred, the decades-old alteration juxtaposes the exceptional outcome of the more recent renovation.

The building is an example of the Second Empire style and is crowned by a dual-pitched Mansard roof, which is the hallmark of the style. The roof is finished with patterned, scalloped shingles, and the tall windows in the upper level are capped with decorative stone hoods. At grade, the storefront recalls the the original building, providing a richer treatment at the main central bay, with a decorative railing and brick arched entries

“Eye candy of the Week” is our weekly look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates each with Eyesore of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.