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Wednesday, April 2,2014

Eyecandy of the Week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: Mount Hope Cemetery, 1709 E. Mount Hope Ave., Lansing

Owner: City of Lansing

Even setting aside the recent proliferation of zombie franchises, as a society, we have collective difficulties with death and its ultimate inevitability. Graveyards are nearly always located on outskirts of cities or in places no one visits. Though Mount Hope Cemetery is not geographically remote, it remains isolated by busy roads and natural topography. Granted, this virtual inaccessibility promotes an internal tranquility, no doubt welcomed in a place of repose and reflection.

However, those avoiding this site miss impressive examples of art and architecture. The entry gate’s graceful Queen Anne towers lead visitors to winding, hilly paths within. Ransom E. Olds’ dignified limestone mausoleum rests on a notable rise near the gate. Its detail is applied reservedly, in the column capitols and a beautiful arched doorway. Nearby, the tomb of W. S.

George features Greek Doric columns, supporting an authentic epistyle and frieze, complete with triglyphs and guttae. Carved headstones and majestic obelisks fill the places in between and along the paths.

Particularly at this time of year, whether one’s interests are sacred or secular, this site merits a visit. Regular connection to the dead among the living — possibly through the introduction of numerous, decentralized grave sites — serves as a reminder of our own transience and the brief time we are each allotted.

“Eye Candy of the Week” is our look at some of the nicer properties in Lansing. It rotates with Eyesore of the Week.

If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse. com or call Andy Balaskovitz at 999-5064.

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