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Congregation Shaarey Zedek (meaning ‘Gates of Righteousness’) recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of the signing of its Articles of Association. After merging with a younger congregation in the 1930s, together they grew large enough to plan for a permanent home in the 1960s. Lansing area land developer Francis Fine, who was the founder of local Fine-Bilt Homes and a member of the congregation, donated this 10-acre site on East Lansing’s western edge.
Fine’s company, which built the temple,also constructed thousands of postwar, moderate income houses and modest apartment buildings throughout the Lansing area. He worked to affect Lansing zoning code changes and would advise the Israeli government on building homes for immigrants in the 1970s.
The building was designed by the Detroit-based architecture firm of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls. Sited near the middle of the large lot, the building’s west elevation consists of a nearly featureless expanse of bricks. This understated base provides both a neutral backdrop of the bronze sculptures on the front of the building and a solid, grounding contrast to the heaven-soaring curve of the central tower over the sanctuary. Translucent roof panels and clerestory windows draw daylight into the sanctuary during services.
“Eye candy of the Week” is our 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.