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Monday, January 18,2010

Eye candy of the week

by Neal McNamara

Address: 815 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing
Owner: 815 N. Capitol LLC
Taxpayer: 815 N. Capitol LLC
Assessed: $74,700
Owner says: Unable to be reached for comment


Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: Take a walk down north down Capitol Avenue, north of Saginaw Street and
you will be rewarded with an array of elegantly appointed houses
including the highly stylized Mansard roof featured at 815. The Mansard
roof was popularized in the U.S. during the late
1800s. It is often referred to as the "french roof,"for its extensive
use by the french. It was made popular by architect Francois Mansart in
France during the mid 16th to mid 17th century. One of his most famous,
Chateau de Masisons, prominently features the mansard roof.


Not to detract from the many fine neighborhoods spread across the Lansing area, but the houses that have been built to the north and west of downtown — roughly between Old Town, Delta Township and the Grand River — are, for the most part, spectacular.


This home, on Capitol Avenue between Oakland Avenue and Madison Street, just north of Lansing Community College, stands out especially (some of its neighbors include rather bland one- two-story office buildings).


This shape of the home’s roofs almost resembles the turrets of a castle, but its yellow paint job is reminiscent of a humble Colonial era home. Though the house could do with a bit of landscaping, and the front porch addition may have been a misstep, the house stands out among its neighbors as an interesting specimen in an already well-appointed neighborhood.


More about Mansard roofs by Harrell-Seyburn:

The Mansard roof is
a hip-roof style that features two slopes on its four sides. The lower
slope is steeper than the upper slope. The mansard roof that shares
similar characteristics with the gambrel
roof, featured in the "Eyesore of the Week," December 2, 2009. Like the
gambrel, these attractive houses are not only charming on the exterior
but possess a great deal of character on the interior as a result of
the distinctive sloping walls of the gambrel roof. In addition, the
mansard allowed for the addition of stories to a building without the
use of masonry.

Mansard
roofs from the late 1800s are highly decorative, like the one featured
at 815 Capitol. Modern versions emphasize a minimalist approach as
demonstrated by the mansard roof feature, in commercial businesses and
fast food chains most notably, Pizza Hut.


“Eye candy of the Week" is our weekly 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 eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Neal McNamara at 371-5600 ex. 17.

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