March 29 2017 05:48 PM

Property: 1100 Trowbridge Road East Lansing

Daniel E. Bollman, AIA/City Pulse
This building — owned by the Boji Group and scheduled to be replaced by a $12 million office and hotel complex — was a Howard Johnson’s motel. The back of the lot is scarred with broken asphalt and the shadow of another wing of the hotel, which was demolished following the damage brought by a series of fires. Unsightly deterioration extends to this building, including a damaged roof and collapsing porte-cochere.

The Postmodern style offers vague historical references that were developed to supplant placeless Modern architecture. Ironically, the style is now dated and anonymous itself. False timbering attempts to capture a familiar detail of stately homes, but it appears clumsy and artificial. Since the building served as a unit of a national corporation, its architecture does not reflect local climate variations or building traditions, apart from the image of a pitched roof.

Its presence is likely detrimental to the other businesses in Trowbridge Plaza or the adjacent residential neighborhood. Large expanses of featureless walls and deep setbacks filled with parking make for bad urbanism, which stands in contrast to the newer loft building down the street. Perhaps future development on this site could take its cues from the site planning principles applied nearby.

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