Property: First Church of Christ, Scientist 709 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing
The date of this edifice’s construction in 1953 is noted prominently on the cornerstone facing Grand River. However, the building’s dedication was postponed until October 1969. In accordance with the denomination’s policies, dedication ceremonies did not take place until the debts connected with the building’s construction were retired.
While the building features many of the trappings of a traditional church — including a columned portico and patinaed copper spire — it breaks away from these orthodox details. The modern main portico features fluted columns, freed of their classical capitals and bases. The porch itself is exhibits a subtle curve, which is echoed in the steeple’s tower.
Although the standard common brick bond is employed, the dominant pattern features wider Roman bricks set in a staggered bond. Limestone accents form the main entablature, which is capped with a crown and wide dentils, and in the stone coping, which introduces a square motif found throughout the building.
The church had been temporarily housed in the Masonic Temple on MAC and the (now demolished) State Theater. A Christian Science reading room was added about a decade ago; from within, one may enjoy expansive views of Michigan State University.
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