Dec. 22 2010 12:00 AM

1417 Sheldon Ave., Lansing


Property: 1417 Sheldon Ave., Lansing

Owner: Ingham County Land Bank

Assessed value: Rents for $88 a month

Let’s face it: although nobody finds portable toilets particularly appealing, they do provide an essential service. The quintessential blue box is an important feature of festivals, fairs, construction sites and just about anywhere there is a large crowd. Often discreetly located, sometimes site constraints require a big blue commode to be more conspicuous than one might prefer. That’s the case at 1417 Sheldon Ave. It’s located just feet from the sidewalk and the adjacent house to the west.

What would you do if a Port-a-Loo appeared one morning just feet from your front porch? Lansing resident and artist Jules Vander Galien, who lives at 1409 Sheldon, responded with decorations. The blue plastic lavatory has been trimmed with garlands, ornaments and, the piece de resistance, a big red bow. Vander Galien says she created the conceptual art piece to amuse and make people smile.

Although it’s located on a residential street in the Northtown Neighborhood and not on a high traffic street, the adorned toilet has plenty of admirers. That includes the workers from JL Trumbill Builders who are renovating the house at 1417 Sheldon.

“We all think it is great — it adds humor to the project and makes for good relations with the neighbors," said craftsman Harry Gates.

“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