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Wednesday, June 18,2014

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: 1508 E. Kalamazoo St, Lansing Owner says: Unable to be reached Assessed value: $18,700

Before this house was significantly damaged by fire, it was a humble example of the Craftsman style. In exchange for the low pitched roof, typical of the style, this home has ample room for living above the front porch and in a dormer on its west side. The resulting form is called “bungaloid,” which accounts for this additional upper level space. In contrast, the related term “bungalow,” which is frequently paired with the Craftsman style, never includes more than a single story.

Other standard Craftsman features include deep eaves, plus a full width porch supported by square columns. Speculative details, such as eave brackets, were probably stripped away before the fire, during the installation of the home’s vinyl siding. The ongoing presence of this deteriorated home provides an unfortunate landmark for its working class neighborhood.

The recent history of the home’s immediate neighbor makes its blighted condition even more aggravating. Next door, a Restoration Works project has combined the efforts of Habitat for Humanity, the Allen Neighborhood Center, the Ingham County Land Bank, and Lansing Community College in a program that engages students and restores marginalized houses. This charred shell adversely affects the gains made by the program’s good work.

“Eyesore of the Week” is our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Becky McKendry at 999-5064.

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