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Wednesday, April 23,2014

Eyecandy of the Week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: Manufacturers Bank of Lansing/ Comerica Bank, 101 N. Washington Square, Lansing
Owner:
Comerica Inc.
Assessed value:
$600,000

In spite of its commanding presence and exposed location, this impressive building is often overlooked. Approaching from the east along Michigan Avenue, one’s attention is naturally drawn to the Capitol Building at the end of the axis. Further, the traffic circle at Washington and its correspondingly difficult navigation keeps drivers’ eyes on the road and pedestrians — where they should be. However, visitors who remain in their cars will miss the smaller details that define this imposing building.

The Lansing-based architecture firm of Lee Black and Kenneth C. Black designed the bank. According to the carving within the entry arch, it was constructed in 1931, as the Art Deco style enjoyed its peak popularity. The building exhibits features typical of the style. Exterior elevations display a tripartite division, both horizontally and vertically. Emphasizing the building’s verticality, pilasters rise from the solid base, where several urban-scaled arches draw visitors to the building.

The paired elephants that stand over the main entrance are the most obvious of the abundant sculpture to be found around the limestone base. Low-relief details at the main arch depict details from Lansing’s history. Visitors should step through the large entry doors to find additional detailing in the high-ceilinged main hall.

“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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