113 S. Washington Square, Lansing
The Nelson Gallery is in the long-underutilized former home of Liebermann’s Department Store, one of Lansing’s gems. The building has been a notable structure in the area since the 1960s when then-owner Betty Price commissioned George Nelson to revamp the existing century-old building as the home of her family department store business. Nelson, whose name is synonymous with midcentury modern design, was the design director for Herman Miller, creating the lamps, clocks, and furnishings that still bear his name. Nelson’s design is a midcentury modern marvel of stone and glass. He set the entrance back by approximately 4 feet from the buildings on either side of it and clad the sidewalls with multicolored pieces of slate. By continuing the tile on the walls inside the store, Nelson blurred the line between the indoors and out, a fact that is made clear by the large expanse of glass on the front of the building. In her book “Mid-Michigan Modern: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie,” Susan Bandes writes that there are four panels of 22-foot-high windows and an offset front door. Since Liebermann’s closed 30 years ago, the building has been occupied by other businesses, including the Lansing Art Gallery for several years. It is now the home of Redhead Design Studio and its appropriately named Nelson Gallery.
“Eye Candy of the Week” is our look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates with Eyesore of the Week and Eye for Design. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail email@example.com or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.
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