Property: Division Street Alley East Lansing

Running north from Grand River, this week’s feature departs from the usual focus on object buildings. In contrast to the typical utilitarian, avoidable alleys, this place is an assembly of individual elements, including one particularly clever background building, that are combined to make a greater whole. In total, the composition makes for great urbanism.

The alley, which is located between Bailey and Division streets, has long been embellished with a winding brick path, plus a kinetic water sculpture that anchors the north end of the lane. Recent additional flourishes have transformed the site. What would otherwise be an ill-defined, transitional space, now serves as a delightful, attractive place. A new mosaic mural depicting East Lansing landmarks was installed along the walls this past summer. Crowdfunding sources were employed to raise monies for the mural, which was created by the East Lansing Seniors Program and students from MacDonald Middle School. Board game tables, an incongruous piano and strings of overhead lights complete the scene.

The most recent addition is to the building pictured above. While not particularly notable on its own, this burger joint measures approximately 12 feet wide inside, occupying the narrow, otherwise overlooked space between two other restaurants.

“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.